Sunday May 8, 2011, updated Monday May 9, 2011

A helicopter intended to film the Buffalo Bill Downhill longboard race on Lookout Mountain in Golden, CO crashed today while hovering above the finish line.  Without warning the aircraft started to drift downward towards a large pine tree.  The helicopter’s rotor clipped the tree rendering the rotor useless.  The landing skids hit the ground perpendicular to the slope of the ground causing it to “bounce” ninety degrees counter clockwise.  It seems that the force of the skids hitting the ground caused the tail rotor to shear itself from the aircraft.  I do remember seeing the tail rotor strike the tree also but that memory is hazy and the video I have watched since doesn’t seem to confirm my impression of the incident.  When the landing skid made contact the second time, this time parallel with the slope of the ground, the weight of the helicopter’s front end forced the copter to tip over coming to rest on it’s canopy.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  Police evacuated the area and the remainder of the races were canceled.  As if downhill longboard races aren’t exciting enough, this years Buffalo Bill Downhill is sure to go down in history as one of the most exciting longboard events ever.

See Photos of the longboard action and post helicopter crash…