Killed by his toy helicopter

UNITED STATES - He was passionate about flying model helicopters.

Tragically, the passion led to the 19-year-old's death on Thursday.

Mr Roman Pirozek was killed after the blades of one of his remote-controlled copters scalped him in a Brooklyn park, New York Post reported.

A handful of his friends watched in horror as he lost control of the toy aircraft which boomeranged and sliced off the top of his head.

Said Maria Delgado, 13. "I was playing at the park and we came into the clearing and we just saw a body on the floor... the whole top of his head was gone."

Mr Pirozek was pronounced dead at the scene, New York police officials said. The park where the incident happened is a sanctioned flying field by the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

A first responder said there was nothing that could have been done, the New York Daily News reported.

"The major blood vessels in his neck were involved and he just bled out very quickly," he said.

The victim's heartbroken father, Mr Roman Pirozek Sr, came to the park, but was taken away by police. He told the New York Post that his son died "doing what he loved".

"It's a complete passion," the father said of his son's hobby of flying model aircraft.

Mr Pirozek Sr founded the Brooklyn Seaview Rotary Wings Club 30 years ago and his son was the vice-president until his death.

Said the father: "It's a popular hobby but there's only a certain amount of people that do it because it is a very expensive hobby and it is a little bit dangerous, as you can see."

The victim's younger sister, Amy, said her brother, who recently quit his job as a cargo handler at JFK Airport to pursue a career as an operational engineer, went to the park alone to fly his helicopter.

"He was the best brother. He had the biggest heart," she told New York Daily News. "He always protected me. He was a good brother. He was the best."

His toy helicopter estimated to cost up to US$1,700 (S$2,165), was found crumpled on the ground about 6m from his body.

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