Texas DPS helicopter crashes while tracking migrants near border

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A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter crashed in Kinney County while helping ground crews track a group of migrants trying to avoid apprehension in the brush. The two crew members on board did not suffer any serious injuries, according to a law enforcement source.

On January 11 at approximately 7:25 p.m., a Texas DPS helicopter experienced an onboard emergency and appeared to make an emergency landing in a field in Kinney County. The helicopter crew was expected to assist a DPS brush crew in tracking a group of migrants trying to avoid apprehension while walking through a Texas ranch near the border area.

DPS helicopter crews routinely assist troopers and Border Patrol agents on the ground as they track migrants marching through the brush.

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The Texas Department of Public Safety released the following statement Thursday evening:

On January 11, 2024, at approximately 7:20 p.m., a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) single-engine police helicopter conducted a border interdiction patrol flight in support of Operation Lone Star. This flight was conducted at night under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions using night vision goggles, and the crew consisted of a pilot and a co-pilot. The location was North FM 1908, just west of FM 131 in Kinney County.

During the flight, the crew experienced a total loss of power, entered an autorotative descent and made contact with the ground. The co-pilot suffered minor hand injuries and the helicopter sustained significant damage.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been notified and the Texas Highway Patrol is securing the accident scene until their arrival. DPS will not release any further details until the NTSB investigation is complete.

The Del Rio Sector is one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors along the southwestern border with Mexico. During a recent two-week period, Del Rio Sector agents apprehended nearly 35,000 migrants.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Before his retirement, he served as Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol stations in the Del Rio, Texas Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

Bob Price is the associate editor and senior news contributor on the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What is your point? Sunday morning talk show. He is also chairman of Blue Wonder Gun Care Products. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

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