This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Red-Tailed Hawk Caused Fatal 2011 Marine Chopper Crash
A new report has determined that a deadly 2011 Marine helicopter crash at Camp Pendleton was caused by a bird strike. That bird, specifically, was a female red-tailed hawk, according to UT San Diego.
The crash killed two Marines.
UT San Diego explains what happened:
The hawk, which probably weighed about 3 pounds and had a wingspan of about 4 feet, hit the top of the helicopter and damaged the pitch change link. Within one second of impact with the bird, vibrations in the main rotor caused the rotor and top of the transmission to separate from the aircraft, the report states.
The helicopter broke into three pieces and smashed to the ground. The debris caught fire and ignited a small brushfire.
"Both pilots onboard, Capt. Jeffrey Bland and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, were killed instantly," notes the report.
The report also adds that the accident was unavoidable in light of what happened with the bird.
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.