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Autumn Cruz / Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Police Officers Dave Smart, left, and Joey Robinson take off in their helicopter for a patrol shift. They are reporting more problems lately with people shining lasers into the cockpit of their police helicopters. It is very dangerous to the pilots and to the public below because the lasers can cause temporary or permanent blindness and inhibit the pilot's ability to fly. March 13, 2009

Police helicopter makes urgent landing in Land Park

Published: Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 - 9:34 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 - 7:00 am

A Sacramento police helicopter made an unexpected landing at William Land Park Monday morning.

“The helicopter was working and monitoring the (Martin Luther King Jr.) parade route, and the pilot noticed the emergency caution light was illuminated,” said Michele Gigante, spokeswoman for Sacramento police.

“The pilot made a precautionary landing. He looked for an open area to land, and he found an open empty field.”

The helicopter, Air1, landed under full power in one of the baseball fields in William Land Park, near 12th Avenue, at 9:45 a.m.

“They did exactly what they were supposed to do,” said Gigante.

The pilot and another officer in the aircraft were not hurt.

Mechanics went to the park to check on the helicopter.

“They made the decision to transport the helicopter back to the hangar so they could evaluate it more thoroughly,” said Gigante.

Air1 is the same helicopter that struck a power line near Folsom Lake on Nov. 1. The pilot immediately landed on a dry portion of Folsom Lake as a precaution.

The Sacramento Police Department conducted an internal investigation into what happened in that incident.

The Nov. 1 incident “was not a mechanical problem,” said Gigante Monday.


Call The Bee’s Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.

Read more articles by Tillie Fong



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