Pilot Al Behuncik

Helicopter crashes near Red Deer after tail rotor fails

It was a close call for pilot Al Behuncik and his wife on Friday. Their helicopter nearly missed nearby power lines before it crash landed in a corn field off of Hwy 2 and Hwy 11A.

It was a close call for pilot Al Behuncik and his wife on Friday. Their helicopter nearly missed nearby power lines before it crash landed in a corn field off of Hwy 2 and Hwy 11A.

It was not the way the 74-year-old Red Deer County pilot wanted to end his relaxing day of sight-seeing from the air.

“I thought I was going to land in them,” Behuncik said as he pointed up at power lines approximately 10 feet from where his home built, 2009, Rotor Way 162F helicopter landed on its side.

The pilot says the tail rotor failed, which resulted in the helicopter spinning to the left.

“When you are spiraling at 60 miles an hour in the air it is pretty traumatic so the only thing that I could do was put it in auto rotation,” Behuncik explained.

He then banked the helicopter to the left so the wind could catch and push it into the field. Behuncik avoided the power lines but also the highway, which was close by.

“You don’t have time to be scared because you have so many things to do, you have to keep that rotor going, otherwise you’re dead,” Behuncik said.

Other than a sore shoulder, Behuncik and his wife did not suffer significant injuries. He credits his 50 years of flying experience.

“I have flown in Canada, France, England, Germany, Switzerland and everything from a Fixed Wing to a CF 104 Star Fighter,” he said.

The helicopter crash slowed traffic merging northbound onto Hwy 2 off the Hwy 11A on-ramp for a couple hours on Friday. There were no highway closures.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month