Helicopter Clips USC Radio Tower, Lands on Campus

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A helicopter made a forced landing on the USC campus Saturday morning after the pilot, blinded by the sun, clipped a radio tower and hit a tree, police said. No one was injured.

The pilot of the Sikorsky chopper suffered only a cut on the nose, and a passenger escaped injury when the craft came to rest in an intersection on the campus at about 7:30 a.m., Lt. Tom Runyen said. Neither was immediately identified.

Part of the helicopter’s rotor was sheared off when the craft hit KUSC-FM’s radio tower, Runyen said. Metal debris and pieces of a tree hit the walls of a nearby dorm and scattered over several blocks.


Javier Gonzalez, a USC security officer, said the helicopter was preparing to lift an air conditioning unit on top of nearby Hoffman Hall, the business school, when the accident occurred.

KUSC’s signal, Gonzalez said, was not affected by the accident.