Helicopter Landing Goes Awry At Veterans Day Memorial Parade In Norman


Monday, November 12th 2018, 3:23 pm
By: Dana Hertneky


The City of Norman is investigating an incident that sent one person to the hospital after the landing of a Chinook helicopter went awry.

According to the report, several onlookers were knocked down by the force of the wind generated by the Chinook as it attempted to land Sunday afternoon during the Veterans Day Memorial Parade and Ceremony.

Official say one person was taken to the hospital, while others suffered minor injuries.

Lt. Col. Lindy White with the Oklahoma National guard says they had coordinated the landing days prior with the City of Norman, the Highway Patrol, and Norman Police.

Dale Magnin shot the video of the Chinook landing Sunday. He's retired Army and knows about the helicopters.

Gene Krier is also retired military and has experience with the helicopters.

“They call them the wind machine, they can generate up to 200 mph of wind,” Krier said. 

Krier was in the crowd at Sunday’s parade when the Chinook made its landing.

“It blew me off into two trees. I tried to catch the first tree to keep from going down, and I couldn’t so I rolled and caught the second tree,” Krier explained.

Krier says the chopper blew him about 30 feet. His wife was blown to the ground too. Both say they are scraped up and sore.

According to Krier, it appeared as though the elderly woman next to him was knocked unconscious.

“What concerned me is that she never moved anything. I was watching for foot movement, or foot twitching or fingers, nothing,” Krier said.

The woman seemed to have regained consciousness before she was loaded into an ambulance, according to Krier.  

The National Guard says the pilot was able to communicate with people on the ground. 

The City of Norman claims that prior to the landing OU police and city staff directed parade attendees to clear the area. 

However, Krier, his family, and Magnin all say that didn't happen.

“He never should have landed there, it’s far too dangerous,” Krier said.

Norman Mayor Lynn Miller who attended the parade and ceremony released a statement saying:

“The City of Norman takes the concerns expressed by those involved very seriously. We will study the incident and encourage event organizers and volunteer participants to take additional needed precautions in the future that ensure an incident like this does not happen again. The safety of citizens and parade patrons is always a top priority for the city.”

According to the City of Norman the woman who was taken to the hospital is stable. 

Norman Mayor Lynne Miller, who attended the parade and ceremony, released a statement saying:

“The City of Norman takes the concerns expressed by those involved very seriously. We will study the incident and encourage event organizers and volunteer participants to take additional needed precautions in the future that ensure an incident like this does not happen again. The safety of citizens and parade patrons is always a top priority for the city.”

According to the City of Norman the woman who was taken to the hospital is stable.