Update on El Segundo Helicopter Crash
What: Heliflite Inc/Aris Helicopter Sikorsky S-58ET
Where: El Segundo
When: March 13, 2011. 9:30 am
Why: Earlier in March we talked about the Sikorsky that crashed while lifting an ac unit from atop the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems warehouse in El Segundo. The injured pilot survived though he had to be extracted from the helicopter. Anthony Savedra, an employee of Excel Mechanical, pulled the pilot to safety. The helicopter capacity is 5000 pounds, and the unit that was being removed from the building was under 4500 lbs, but the helicopter apparently suffered an engine failure (the pilot said the engine when “offline”) while the operation was in progress. A witness in the video below said the helicopter made a popping noise on impact, and there was white smoke; then a few moments later, there was an explosion, and black smoke. The pilot escaped burn injuries.
The crash started a fire on two floors of the warehouse but no one was injured in the fire, because the accident occurred on a Sunday. Seventy firefighters put out the blaze within forty minutes.