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Helicopter pilot makes hard landing in Ontario cow pasture

By in Press Enterprise on July 20, 2017

By Doug Saunders

A man on his first solo helicopter flight Wednesday, July 19 experienced the unthinkable when he was forced to put the aircraft down minutes after takeoff.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the pilot sent out a distress call after experiencing mechanical issues.

“He was in the air for less then five minutes when he looked for a place to put the aircraft down,” Ontario Deputy Fire Chief Ray Gayk said.

Ontario police officers were first on the scene.

“The pilot radioed to the tower at Chino Airport that he was having equipment failure and needed to put the helicopter down,” a police statement read. “Ontario units located the downed helicopter that had moderate damage.”

The pilot landed in a cow pasture of a Dairy Farm near Merrill and Grove avenues. Once the aircraft was down and the pilot was safely out, it was quickly surrounded by dairy cows curious about the object that fell from the sky and landed in their pasture.

Chino Valley Fire District assisted Ontario Fire.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Bureau are investigating the crash.

No cows were hurt in the incident.

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