Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Robinson R-22 Helicopter mishap at Long Beach Airport

A helicopter student and his instructor took a tumble Tuesday while practicing landings at the Long Beach Airport.

The 12:30 p.m. crash of the Robinson R-22 helicopter left the student, believed to be in his 20s, with moderate injuries and the instructor, a a 24-year-old man, with minor injuries, said Long Beach Fire Capt. Jackawa Jackson.

Long Beach Fire Department paramedics treated and transported the student to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Jackson said.

He appeared to have suffered leg and shoulder injuries, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA's Western-Pacific Region.

The instructor was also taken to a local hospital for treatment of his minor injuries, Jackson said.

The pair were practicing hovering at helipad #3 when the right skid touched the ground and the aircraft rolled over in a grassy area, Gregor said.

No flames were sparked by the crash but firefighters did contain a small fuel leak within minutes of arriving at the scene, Jackson said.

Jackson said the helicopter is a small two-seater aircraft with a bubble front and commonly used for flight instruction.

Fire Department crews remained on site as FAA and other investigators continued to review the crash site at 2:30 p.m., the captain said.

(Tracy Manzer - Long Beach Press Telegram)

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