SAPD chopper forced to land on I-10

Police: SAPD's Eagle had engine problem, no one injured during landing

SAN ANTONIO - One of the San Antonio police helicopters known as Eagle was forced to make an emergency landing late Monday night.

Police say Eagle was flying near Fresno and Blanco Road at 11:45 p.m. when the problem started.

"Eagle was up assisting patrol with a stolen vehicle," Officer Matt Porter said. "An indicator (light) came on in the helicopter indicating that there might be possible engine failure."

The flight crew reported feeling the chopper dip as they heard a warning, but they had enough time to make a precautionary landing without losing power. Police say they decided the safest place to land was the I-10 West frontage road near Fresno.

The crew reported seeing power lines, light poles and cars in the area. There are also several homes nearby.

"We came out and we saw the darn thing and I said, 'Oh my god, what happened?' And we thought it had run out of gas," Maria Hinjiosa said.

No one was hurt during the landing and Eagle was not damaged, police officials said.

The cause of the engine failure was not released

While Monday night's landing zone was not ideal, Eagle pilot shave had worse options in recent years.

In 2003, SAPD landed safely at the Alamodome after officers on the ground saw smoke coming from the helicopter. And in 2004, Eagle made a hard landing in the parking lot of an HEB store at Pleasanton and SW Military after the pilot smelled smoke.

Most recently, engine failure forced an emergency landing right in the middle of a freeway in December 2010. Eagle landed on Highway 281 just south of Nakoma.


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