Sergeant Norman D. Piepenbrink

Sergeant Norman D. Piepenbrink

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, November 30, 1964

Norman D. Piepenbrink

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.

Bio

  • Age 39
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge 6090

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident
  • Incident Date Friday, November 27, 1964

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Rest In Peace Brother. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

November 30, 2017

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.