Man Fatally Jumps Out Of Helicopter Into Ocean During Scenic Tour
A man who booked a helicopter tour of the Orange County coast jumped to his death this afternoon in a possible suicide.
A 60-year-old man was rescued from the waters near Balboa Pier around 1 p.m. and rushed to a hospital where he later died, Newport Beach police told City News Service.
Chuck Street, the father of the man flying the helicopter, told The Daily Pilot that a passenger on the tour jumped out of the helicopter mid-flight. Street hadn't spoken to his son Corbin yet, but authorities explained what happened. The passenger showed up alone even though he paid $310 for a 30-minute tour for two. About halfway into the flight, the passenger pushed himself out the door while Street's son struggled to grab him, ripping his shirt off in an attempt to save him.
Street owns Cardinal Air Services, which offers tours in conjunction with Anaheim Helicopters. He told The Daily Pilot: "It's the last thing I ever thought would happen to my son. I've been flying for 35 years, and I've logged over 27,000 hours and it never happened to me."
Newport Beach police confirmed that they are investigating the incident as a possible suicide, and the Federal Aviation Administration is also looking into it.
UPDATE 11/6: The coroner's office has identified the man as Gregory McFadden, 61, of West Covina and reported that he "jumped from a helicopter in-flight," according to the Los Angeles Times.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.