Helicopter had 'mechanical problems' before Griffith Park crash

A helicopter on a routine flight over Los Angeles made a "hard landing" in Griffith Park around 2:17 p.m. Thursday after experiencing "mechanical problems," fire officials said. 

The pilot and three passengers, who were not immediately identified, were treated at the scene and released, according to L.A. Fire Department spokesman Jamie Moore. 

The helicopter was on a "routine flight" from Redlands, circled Santa Monica and was preparing to head back to the Inland Empire when it began experiencing mechanical trouble, Moore said.

The pilot set the craft down on its skids in an area with hilly terrain and crisscrossed by hiking trails. The helicopter, a Rotocraft R44 II, then tipped on its side and eventually began to leak fuel.

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-- Andrew Blankstein and Samantha Schaefer



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