Accident knocks King Co. sheriff's helicopter out of service

RENTON, Wash. - One of the helicopters operated by the King County Sheriff's Office will be out of service for a while after an accident at the Renton Airport late Friday morning.

The chopper, known as Guardian One, was taking off from the trailer used to wheel it in and out of the hangar, when it slipped somehow - a move described by KOMO AIR 4's pilot Gary Pfitzner as skateboarding - and the tail rotor struck the ground.

Some debris from the rotor went flying, but no one was hurt.

The helicopter, one of four operated by the department, is the only one equipped with an infrared camera used to track suspects on the ground.

The accident is under investigation.