A television news helicopter made a hard landing north of Gillespie Field Tuesday, sending one person to a hospital with minor injuries and sparking a fire that was quickly snuffed out.
The chopper — which was operating for CBS News 8 at the time of the crash — was attempting to land in its designated parking spot at a hangar off Kenney Street, near the north end of the airport, when it tipped onto its side around 2:10 p.m., said county communications officer Jessica Northrup.
A reporter and the helicopter’s pilot were able to free themselves from the aircraft. One of the occupants was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego with minor injuries.
Northrup said the two people aboard were “very lucky today.”
The helicopter began leaking fuel and a small fire erupted at the scene, but it was quickly extinguished, said El Cajon police Lt. Royal Bates. Northrup said the helicopter, a Bell 206, suffered damage to its tail section and rotors.
The helicopter is operated by a third party and shared by five San Diego media outlets, including 10News and CBS8.
By about 3:30 p.m., a small crane had lifted the helicopter upright onto its skids, and the wreckage was towed into a hangar.
News helicopter makes difficult landing at Gillespie Field, ends up on its side https://t.co/miy6gnxHDT
— News 8 San Diego (@News8) August 27, 2019
—City News Service
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