Hollywood, CA – An emergency helicopter landing created a few scary moments as a news copter was forced to scan the busy landscape to find a safe place to put the aircraft down.
The Southern California news helicopter had a smoking engine that forced its pilot to find an emergency landing, The Associated Press reported. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the helicopter was from KTLA-TV.
The smoke coming from the helicopter was actually caused by an oil leak and not a fire, but the pilot still took no precautions as he made an emergency landing in a parking lot near a senior center. The two people on board were unharmed in the incident, The Associated Press reported.
Tim Lynn, the helicopter’s pilot, said it was actually a pilot from rival KCBS-TV that alerted him to the smoke, the Los Angeles Times reported. Even though the smoke reached into the cockpit, Lynn said he was able to stay in control of the helicopter as he attempted the emergency landing.
Lynn was flying over Hollywood for a filming assignment at the time, KTLA-TV reported.
The emergency helicopter landing was especially tense for24-year-old cameraman Jeff Laabs. On just the second day of his job, Laabs told KTLA-TV that he was nervous about being up in the air.
“God did spare my life. If it’s not my time, it’s not my time yet,” said Laabs.
The landing was also scary for Laabs’ mother.
“I told Jeff this morning, ‘Isn’t working in the copter kind of scary?'” she told KTLA-TV by phone. “And he said no, and he said my mom told him that you need to pray when you go to work and then while your up in the air.”
The emergency helicopter landing almost didn’t go as smoothly as it ended up. Lynn said he was considering setting down the craft in a high school football stadium but saw there were people there. He then spotted the empty lot and choose that instead.