Oklahoma Army National Guard investigating after chopper mishap at Veterans Day parade in Norman

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NORMAN, Okla. - An Oklahoma Army National Guard Chinook helicopter made a daring landing Sunday at the Veteran's Memorial at Reaves Park, knocking people several feet off the ground.

"I just think everybody that was on the ground was surprised by it," said retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army David (Dale) Magnin.

Navy veteran Eugene Krier said the winds resembled a tornado.

"If I'm not mistaken, I yelled 'Look out' because they called those the big wind, and that wind hit us, it hit us like a tornado," Krier said.

It was a day to celebrate our nation's heroes - Veterans Day. Vets said things were going great until the National Guard Chinook helicopter landed.

"That helicopter should have waved off, and gone around and said, 'Hey, it's not a safe landing zone, you need to get these people moved. I need some barricades, our police officers to back people up there,'" said Krier, who was a commander with the Navy for almost 23 years.

People had little time to move before the chopper knocked them off their feet, including Krier and his wife.

It even sent one person to the hospital.

Magnin started recorded the landing before he, too, was knocked off of his feet.

"If you look at the video, I couldn't catch the helicopter going all the way to the ground because I was blown back about 10 feet," Magnin said.

A spokesperson with the city of Norman said police and city crews directed people to clear the landing zone.

However, those we spoke with said they don't remember being told to move but they do remember seeing a police officer sitting in his car while the Chinook was coming in.

"To my knowledge, none of the people in the parade route were warned how much that wind would be," Magnin said.

Norman Mayor Lynn Miller said, in a statement, “We will will study the incident and encourage event organizers and volunteer participants to take additional needed precautions in the future that ensure an incident like this does not happen again.”

Veterans said they hope things go better next year.

"Planning ahead, I think the helicopter should have been on the ground there long, way before anybody showed up for the parade," Magnin said.

Krier said it put a bad ending on a good day.

"To me, it's unforgivable, it's a lack of coordination," he said.

The Oklahoma Army National Guard sent News 4 a statement regarding the incident:

"We had a CH-47 Chinook at yesterday's Veterans Day event in Norman. Coordination was made with city officials, OHP and Norman PD for the event. The pilots were able to communicate with law enforcement agents on the ground. We are currently gathering facts regarding this incident and will provide a follow up when we have more information."

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