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Report: Pilot fought to save helicopter before deadly crash

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A preliminary report by federal investigators says the pilot of a Huntington Beach police helicopter desperately tried to keep flying before crashing into the ocean last month, killing another officer. The National Transportation Safety Board issued the brief report Wednesday but didn’t identify a cause for the Feb. 19 crash in Newport Beach. The report says the pilot was only 500 feet above ground when the chopper yawed to the right, went into a spinning descent and smashed into the water, shattering the canopy and submerging him. He escaped and was rescued by onlookers. The crash killed the other officer, 44-year-old Nicholas Vella, a 14-year veteran.

Article Topic Follows: AP California

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The Associated Press


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