Suspect crashes after takeoff from California airport in stolen helicopter
- US News
- March 16, 2023
- No Comment
A person attempting to steal a helicopter at Sacramento Executive Airport Wednesday morning fell onto the runway shortly after the plane took off, according to authorities.
It’s unclear how far the suspect was able to get the helicopter off the tarmac before it crashed, but images captured by KCRA-TV in Sacramento showed a black helicopter lying on its side. Parts of the helicopter were strewn about the ground, including the rotor blades, and ground crews used a crane to set the plane onto its landing gear, authorities told the news channel.
The Sacramento Police Department told KCRA that the suspect damaged four other helicopters before launching the downed plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter was a Bell 429 and crashed around 5 a.m. There is no information on how many people were in the helicopter when the crash occurred or if anyone was injured, the FAA said.
The suspect is still at large, according to authorities.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken control of the incident and could not be reached for comment on the crash. FBI Special Agent Sean Reagan told KCRA that there is a person of interest, but he would not reveal any information about an arrest or motive.
“If someone wanted to take a plane for a spin, someone who wanted to take a plane to commit some other criminal activity or damage other property, terrorism would be at the other end of the spectrum,” Reagan said.