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Helicopter turns over on takeoff; pilot hurt

A helicopter turned over just before takeoff Friday morning, leaving the pilot in the hospital and the helicopter smashed on the landing pad.

Roy Michael Chapman, 45, told Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies that he was idling his 1971 Hiller helicopter and preparing for takeoff about 9:50 a.m. when it flipped.

Chapman's right leg was twisted in the wreckage. He was treated at University Community Hospital for a broken leg.

The helicopter came down on a landing pad in the middle of a field next to Chapman's mobile home and a line of other mobile homes.

Neighbors heard the crash and rushed to Chapman's aid.

"I heard the explosion," said neighbor Debra Ilbery. "There was smoke coming up. His foot was caught in the pedal."

Ilbery said Chapman was calling for help when she arrived, soshe and another neighbor rocked the small helicopter, lifting it off his leg. Then they pulled him free.

"His leg was all twisted around. It was a very bad break," Ilbery said.

Chapman had not had the chopper long, Ilbery said. But she said he was known in the neighborhood as a competent pilot.

Chapman had a private pilot's license and a helicopter rating, according to FAA records.