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Police: Helicopter giving rides at FallFest struck car on garage

The Federal Aviation Administration has taken over an investigation of a collision involving a helicopter giving rides at the Westminster FallFest that struck a car on the top level of a parking garage, police say.

At about 5:51 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, troopers from the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack, along with the Westminster Police Department, responded to 11 Longwell Ave. Police learned that a 2005 Robinson R44 Raven 2 helicopter was attempting to take off from the top level of the parking garage when, for unknown reasons, it failed to ascend properly and struck a parked 2018 Dodge Charger, according to a news release from the state police.

The helicopter came to rest on the top level of the parking garage. No injuries were reported.

Westminster City Administrator Barbara Matthews offered the following statement about the incident.

“As part of the 2018 FallFest event, Charm City Helicopters offered aerial tours of Westminster,” she wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon. “The Maryland State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a mechanical issue that arose in the early stages of a flight on Sunday, September 30, 2018. There were no injuries.”

The pilot of the helicopter was James Howard Pickett III, 40, of Catskill, New York, according to police. No one was inside the vehicle at the time of the incident. Police did not release the owner’s name.

The Maryland State Police CRASH Team responded to the location to photograph and measure the scene.

The investigation was forwarded to the FFA to determine the cause of the collision. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Trooper Horner of the Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack at 410-386-3000.

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