NTSB issues preliminary report into deadly BRPD helicopter crash

BATON ROUGE — The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, released their preliminary investigation into the BRPD helicopter crash that killed two police officers. The exact cause of the crash has not been determined at this time, but the NTSB report details the pilots route and inflight altitude.

Sgt. David Poirrier & Cpl. Scotty Canezaro were flying early on March 26, 2023 having left the BR airport at 2:26am before crashing at 2:38am in West Baton Rouge Parish. The men were assisting officers on the ground who were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle with the driver going up to 150 mph.

Last call for two BRPD officers killed when their helicopter crashed March 26, 2023

According to the NTSB report, the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data showed the “helicopter depart BTR to the south, turn west, then overfly Highway 190, west of Baton Rouge.”

The driver was able to outrun the helicopter and ground police cars to the pursuit was canceled at 2:35am.

“There were no further communications received from the helicopter,” said the NTSB report. “About that time, the data showed the helicopter execute a shallow left deviation to the south of Highway 190. Following the deviation, a left turn initiated, and the turn rate increased, followed by a series of turns and altitude changes. The ADS-B data ended at 2:38am at an altitude of about 1,450 above ground level. There were no witnesses to the accident.”

“The main wreckage, which consisted of the cockpit, fuselage, and tail cone, came to rest inverted next to an irrigation ditch at the edge of a sugar cane field,” said the report. “The main rotor transmission, mast, and main rotor blades came to rest in a wooded area about 250 feet east of the main wreckage. Fragmented windshield Plexiglass, forward and upper cockpit structure, instrument console components, and observer station (left seat) equipment were scattered between the main rotor assembly and main wreckage. The helicopter was equipped with a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter, which was found separated from the
mounting structure, and the antenna wire was severed about 4 inches from the transmitter. The helicopter wreckage was retained for further examination”

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