Pilot, passengers survive chopper crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pilot, passengers survive chopper crash

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL (CNN) - Some helicopter passengers in Florida got more of a ride than they bargained for Saturday when their helicopter at a fair crashed to the ground.

Saint Lucie County fairgoers are still in shock. Saturday afternoon, two passengers and the pilot, Brian Hall, were up 200 feet in the air when something went wrong.

Scott Smith, who works at the fair, saw it happen.

"When I looked up, he was headed straight down towards the ground, about 10 feet before the ground, he pulled it straight up, landed hard, but landed right on the runners, and it just all fell apart," Smith said.

Hall told investigators the fuel pressure light came on, and the engine sputtered and died.

Hall brought the helicopter down without power, landing hard causing the tail rotor to break off into pieces, but fortunately leaving everyone inside in one piece.

"I was glad to see that the people were OK. I didn't know how hard they hit, but they hit hard," said Maj. Mike Monahan with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office. "I would say this pilot did a good job of putting it on the ground. Quite shocked that no one was actually injured at all."

One couple said they are thankful that they had chosen to take another ride.

"It was pretty strange because we were just talking about taking it for a ride," the couple said.

Officials with the FAA are on the scene to investigate. Police do not expect to file charges.

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