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Ohio police helicopter makes emergency landing during search for missing person

The pilot landed the helicopter on a football field after an emergency light came on

By Jim Woods
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus police helicopter made an unexpected landing last night on a Grandview Heights High School athletic field.

Officer David Eubanks, who was piloting the helicopter with another officer as a passenger, said he brought the helicopter down about 6:15 p.m., after an engine light came on.

They landed safely on the high school's athletic field near the corner of 5th Avenue and North Star Road.

A mechanic was called to the scene, the problem corrected and the helicopter eventually cleared to fly again.

The helicopter crew had been searching for a missing person who was later found.

Columbus police helicopters generally fly 6,000 hours a year. The division grounded its five helicopters in March after gaps were found in maintenance records for a copter the city had sold. An outside audit found that maintenance had been completed but record-keeping was spotty.

Cmdr. Michael Woods, who oversees the helicopter unit, said the division would buy software to better track maintenance.

Copyright 2013 The Columbus Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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