Tree-Trimming Helicopter Crashes In Logan County

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UPDATED: Tuesday July 29, 2014 11:56 PM

pilot is recovering in the hospital after his helicopter crashed during a unique tree-clearing project.

Pilot Leo Boucher had been clearing trees and brush this week to extend the Simon Kenton bike trail from Urbana to Bellefontaine.

"We're trimming alongside of a railroad,” he told The Columbus Dispatch on Monday.

Boucher’s work for South Carolina-based Rotor Blade is not a sight you get to see every day.

Rotating blades suspended about 80 feet below the helicopter are used to trim trees.

Boucher told the Dispatch Monday about the safety benefits of using a helicopter to clear out brush.

“On the safety side of it, you've only got one piece of equipment, one soul, actually out there, you know, in harm’s way," he said.

But just one day after that interview, his chopper crashed.

"He just nosed right into the ground,” said West Liberty Fire Chief Conrad Hostetler.

Hostetler says he watched Boucher at work earlier in the day Tuesday.

When he got a call about a chopper crashing near the Liberty Hills Golf Club, Hostetler knew whose it was.

"My first though was, and I told my wife, 'the helicopter that we were watching I think went down,’” he said.

Witnesses tell 10TV it appears the helicopter got hung up on something before it crashed.

The lead contractor who is responsible for clearing out the trees and brush for the bike trail says he heard the chopper go down.

"I kind of heard a thump,” said Jeremy LeVan of LeVan’s Excavating.

LeVan says he hired Rotor Blade to do the tree-trimming.

As the Ohio State Highway Patrol and FAA work to figure out what caused the crash, LeVan says he is not sure when work will resume on the tree-trimming project.

All he cares about right now is Boucher's well-being.

"Just hope the best for Leo and that he's ok,” LeVan said.

At last check, Boucher was in serious condition at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

Watch The Columbus Dispatch's Interview With Leo Boucher

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