Residents living in the South Ward section of Tamaqua were surprised to see and hear a large helicopter fly over the town late Friday afternoon. The oddly-shaped helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61N, had to make an emergency landing at the soccer practive field behind the Tamaqua High School due to minor technical issues, according to one of the crewmen on the ground. The helicopter was joined by an identical helicopter a short while later. Both eventually took off later in the evening. Information online shows that the first helicopter that landed was out of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.
The majority of Sikorsky S-61's and S-61N's were built in the late 50's and 60's. The S-61N was subsequently updated to Mk II standard, which included a more powerful CT58-110 engine - giving better hot and high performance, vibration damping and other detail refinements. Many civilian and government agencies still use these helicopters.
Information online states the length of these helicopters as 58 feet 11 inches; much longer than the more common Sikorsky S-61. Other information online states that they can carry upto 30 passengers and have a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds, contain two turboshaft engines, have a maximum speed of 166 mph and can climb 1,310 to 2,220 feet per minute.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also known to travel this way.