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Two injured after child turns on Mayo Clinic helicopter at air show

Two injured after child turns on Mayo Clinic helicopter at air show

Two people were injured Saturday after a Mayo Clinic helicopter inadvertently powered up at the Minnesota Air Spectacular in Mankato.

The incident happened around 1:45 p.m. at the Mankato Regional Airport. KEYC-TV reported the Mayo One team was able to quickly turn off the helicopter.

Two people standing nearby suffered minor injuries when the helicopters blades knocked over a large sun shield, according to event organizers.


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A witness told the Star Tribune that a boy, about six years old, climbed into the helicopter unoccupied and turned on the aircraft. “The door was open … and he just walked in,” said the witness, a ticket taker at the show.

The helicopter was removed from the event for inspection and the incident was reported to an on-site official from the Federal Aviation Administration. It's still unclear how the boy got the engine going.

The two-day event featured performances by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, as well as other aviation groups. While there were no major issues with the air acts, about a dozen people were treated for heat-related ailments, according to a report by the Mankato Free Press.

Here's video of the event, courtesy Robert Campbell:


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(Cover photo: File / Ellen Macdonald / Creative Commons)

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