You may have seen a strange looking helicopter hovering around Bond County this past week. Sherry Schaefer from Heritage Iron Magazine told us this chopper is one of only 20 of its kind worldwide and is specifically designed to trim trees.
“The helicopter itself is a Huey 500 MD helicopter, and it’s got what I would call 90 foot of pipe in sections that hangs from the belly,” Schaefer told WGEL. “It’s got a coupling on it, so that it can’t spin around but it hangs down. At the bottom of it is an engine actually hanging there in a cover. It’s a small Kohler engine, similar to what you’d find on a lawn mower—a big lawn mower. Then there are blades hanging on the bottom of it…all these combination of saw blades.”
Schaefer said the helicopter was commissioned by the gas company, Buckeye, to trim trees from Wood River to Terre Haute. The chopper has finished its work in Bond County and has now moved on to eastern Illinois.