|The Spitzer Helicopter Robinson R-44 Clipper (N981RR) tour helicopter that crashed and burned|
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KABC) -- Three people onboard a tour helicopter that crashed at a golf course in Santa Barbara on Friday got out of the wreck alive, according to Santa Barbara County fire officials.
Emergency crews responded to the collision shortly after 2 p.m. at La Cumbre Country Club in the 4000 block of Via Laguna, an unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County.
Two passengers and a pilot were taking a waterfront tour in the four-seat Robinson R-44. While returning, the chopper developed mechanical problems.
The helicopter struck two vans near the golf course and caught fire, but all three occupants got out before the flames erupted.
The passengers and pilot were transported to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries, fire officials said. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.
3 Injured After Helicopter Crashes, Catches Fire at La Cumbre Country Club Near Santa Barbara
Three people transported to hospital with moderate injuries after tour helicopter makes crash-landing
A helicopter crashed and caught fire in Santa Barbara Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
A tour helicopter reportedly had mechanical problems on its way back to the Santa Barbara Airport, authorities said. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
A helicopter crashed and caught fire at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter (N981RR) at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor | @magnoli |
3:25 p.m. | May 5, 2017 | 2:22 p.m.
A helicopter crashed near La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon in Santa Barbara, causing moderate injuries to the three people aboard.
Emergency response crews responded to 4015 Via Laguna Dr. just after 2 p.m. to the report of a plane down.
County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the crashed aircraft was a tour helicopter out of Santa Barbara.
The helicopter had finished a tour of the harbor and downtown area and was headed back to the airport when it had mechanical problems, Zaniboni told Noozhawk.
The pilot told the Santa Barbara Airport tower it was going down, he said.
It crash-landed in a maintenance area of La Cumbre Country Club, skidding into several vehicles in a paved area.
The pilot, male passenger and female passenger were able to get out of the helicopter on their own, Zaniboni said.
All three people were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the aircraft on fire, Zaniboni said, adding that there was a fuel spill as a result of the crash.
Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
The tail number is assigned to a Robinson Helicopter R44 model, which is owned by a leasing company in Riverside County, Spitzer Helicopter.
Owner Eric Spitzer said he deals in long-term leases, often to flight schools, and the crashed aircraft was leased to Santa Barbara Air.
The owner/operator is Mike Ower, who mostly does helicopter tours, Spitzer said.
The Helicopter Tours of Santa Barbara website shows photos of a helicopter with the same tail number as the crashed aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the crash and representatives were responding to the scene. No further details were available.