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October 02, 2018

FAA investigating after state police helicopter buzzes Penn State tailgaters

Investigations Police
10022018_PSU_tailgate_USAT Matthew O'Haren/USA TODAY Sports

Fans tailgate outside of Beaver Stadium prior to Saturday night's game with Ohio State in University Park.

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation into reports of low-flying police helicopter over a boisterous crowd of tailgaters outside Beaver Stadium before last weekend's Penn State-Ohio State game.

On Tuesday, the agency said it was following up on a complaint that the state police helicopter flew so low that it sent tents, chairs and other items flying from the downdraft, the Associated Press reported.


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At least one person was arrested and a state trooper suffered a broken wrist during the whiteout game, Cpl. Adam Reed, spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, told PennLive.com.

The pilot was initially trying to fly low enough that fans could hear an order to disperse, and then increased altitude after seeing debris go flying, the news outlet reported.

Numerous videos of the helicopter swooping in over tailgating fans were posted on social media.

Content warning: The following video contains profanity and raw language:

Some people on the ground were clearly concerned that someone could have been injured, even killed, in the incident.

Onward State reported Tuesday that Penn State Police and Public Safety announced that helicopters will no longer be used to give orders to tailgate crowds.

The student-run website has compiled a bunch of videos from the ground here.

Videos