By Michael R. Moser
An out-of-control helicopter made a crash landing at a rural private airport on Friday, but the pilot was able to walk away with only a minor injury, according to sheriff's department reports.
Douglas Eldon Barnett, 58, of Reeves Rd., was treated at the scene by personnel from the Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services for a laceration to the thumb and palm area of his right hand, according to Deputy Ron Moore's report. Barnett was alone when the mishap occurred.
The pilot told investigators he was practicing take off and landings at Carey Airport off Plateau Rd. around 3:50 p.m. Friday when the helicopter became uncontrollable, Moore wrote.
Barnett said he believed the governor on the engine became stuck while hovering in the craft, about 12 feet off the ground, and that he lost control of the engine of the helicopter. Barnett was able to get the helicopter onto the ground but it tilted and a rotor struck the ground, causing the helicopter to roll over.
Barnett and a responding volunteer firefighter flipped the craft back onto its skids to prevent fuel from leaking onto the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified the incident and sent an investigator to the scene the next day. Cumberland County Sheriff's Investigator Bo Kollros also responded to the scene, as did the Cumberland County Fire Department.