A U.S. Park Police helicopter used to save five people after a plane crashed into the freezing Potomac River in 1982 has been saved from the scrap heap and will be preserved in the National Law Enforcement Museum soon to open in Washington, D.C.
It was bitterly cold on Jan. 31, 1982 when an Air Florida flight took off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and smashed into the 14th Street Bridge. The craft plunged into the Potomac. Seventy-four out of 79 passengers on the plane were killed, as well as four motorists on the bridge.
Helicopter pilot Don Usher and his partner Gene Windsor were able to save the lives of five passengers, NBC Washington reports.
The Bell helicopter, once known by the Park Police as Eagle One, was retired after decades of service to the Interior Department and destined for the junkyard. But curators at the still-under-construction National Law Enforcement Museum instead chose to restore it and include it in their collection of artifacts.
The museum is scheduled to open on Oct. 13.