Federal Probe Launched into Pasadena Police Helicopter Crash

The NTSB began its probe of a Pasadena police helicopter crash that injured six

By Jason Kandel and Michelle Valles
|  Sunday, Nov 18, 2012  |  Updated 6:41 PM PDT
View Comments (
Police Report 6 Injured When Helicopters Collide

National Transportation Safety Board investigators sift through wreckage of two Pasadena Police Department Bell OH-58 helicopters that crashed on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.

Photos and Videos

Security Beefed Up at Rose Bowl Ahead of UCLA/USC Showdown

Fans, tailgaters, and alumni will begin flooding into the Rose Bowl in Pasadena this weekend for the highly-anticipated USC/UCLA football game. The rival teams have not played at the bowl since 2010 when fights erupted among game goers. Officials are tightening up security this year to make sure everyone is safe. Jane Yamamoto reports from Pasadena for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012.

5 Injured in Collision of Pasadena Police Helicopters

Two Pasadena police helicopters assigned to monitor traffic leaving a Rose Bowl USC-UCLA game collided when one was leaving and another departing the police helipad on Saturday. Janet Kwak reports from Altadena for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, 2012.
More Photos and Videos

Federal transportation safety investigators began a probe into a Pasadena police helicopter collision that left five officers and a civilian wounded.

The National Transportation Safety Board sifted through the wreckage of the severely damaged police helicopters at the Pasadena Police Department’s Benedict Heliport in Altadena.

Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez turned over all the records, surveillance video and police investigation to the NTSB, which will determine how the helicopters crashed.

“This is the first time that this kind of catastrophic incident has happened,” Sanchez said. “We need a little bit of patience to see what comes out of this."

The choppers crashed about 4 p.m. Saturday at the heliport at 2175 Yucca Lane. One of the choppers was taking off and the other was landing. The main rotor of one struck the other, officials said.

The pilots of the Bell OH-58 helicopters, their passengers and two others on the ground were wounded. All had minor wounds. They were released from the hospital on Sunday.

The crash happened as one officer was standing on the port side of a helicopter talking to the pilot, Sanchez said, without elaborating.

“What I’m concerned about is my people getting healthy (and) the NTSB conducting a thorough investigation,” Sanchez said.

NTSB investigators were expected to interview the pilots in the coming days, officials said.

One helicopter was patrolling the skies above the USC-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl. The other chopper was patrolling above neighborhoods in Pasadena. The department operates a fleet of four helicopters.

Neighboring police agencies have offered to volunteer extra helicopter patrols if Pasadena needs the help, officials said.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out