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Sergeant Norman D. Piepenbrink | Los Angeles Police Department, California Los Angeles Police Department, California


Norman D. Piepenbrink

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch: Monday, November 30, 1964

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 18 years

Badge # 6090

Cause: Aircraft accident

Incident Date: 11/27/1964

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Sergeant Norman Piepenbrink was killed in a helicopter accident while working as an observer with Pilot Willard J. Lehmanon. The officers were conducting freeway traffic patrol in a Bell 47J helicopter.

Sergeant Piepenbrink, the officer-in-charge of the Air Support Division, departed and another officer who was piloting the helicopter had departed from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helipad at the Biscailuz Center in East Los Angeles. Immediately after departure, the aircrew overheard three loud, distinct thumps. The helicopter subsequently crashed, badly burning Sergeant Piepenbrink and the pilot.

An investigation revealed that the six rotor driving flange screws in the main rotor transmission had failed. This failure allowed the transmission rotor driving flange to become uncoupled from the transmission upper spider, causing a complete loss of engine torque to the main rotor. The six screws fractured from a static shear overload, resulting in a forced landing on unsuitable terrain. The aircraft was destroyed.

Sergeant Piepenbrink succumbed to his injuries three days later. Despite being badly burned, the pilot survived the crash.

Sergeant Piepenbrink had served with the agency for 18 years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

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you will never be forgotten. your grandchildren remember you as well. noah piepenbrink has followed in your footsteps and is an active police officer as well as SSGT in the USAF.

Brad Piepenbrink
September 23, 2013


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