A helicopter crash-landed near La Cumbre Country Club in Hope Ranch on Friday afternoon. The three people aboard were injured in the wreck.
Just after 2 p.m., a report of a plane down sent emergency personnel rushing to 4015 Via Laguna Drive near Santa Barbara.
Capt. Dave Zaniboni, a spokesman with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said the crashed aircraft actually was a tour helicopter based at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The helicopter had finished a tour of the harbor and downtown area and was headed back to the airport when it encountered mechanical problems, he told Noozhawk.
The pilot told the airport tower it was going down, Zaniboni said. It then crash-landed in a maintenance area of La Cumbre Country Club, skidding into several vehicles in a parking lot.
The pilot and two passengers, one male and one female, were able to get out of the helicopter on their own, Zaniboni said.
All three people were transported by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, Zaniboni said, they found the aircraft on fire. He added that there was a fuel spill as a result of the crash.
The tail number is assigned to a Robinson Helicopter R44 model that is owned by Spitzer Helicopter, a Riverside County leasing company.
Owner Eric Spitzer said he deals in long-term leases, often to flight schools, and the crashed aircraft was leased to Santa Barbara Air.
The owner/operator is Mike Ower, who mostly does helicopter tours, Spitzer said.
The Helicopter Tours of Santa Barbara website shows photos of a helicopter with the same tail number as the crashed aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the incident and representatives were responding to the scene.
The pilot’s identity was not disclosed, nor were the names of the passengers. No further details were immediately available.
— Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at email@example.com. This story includes reporting from the scene by staff writer Brooke Holland. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department video
Helicopter crash La Cumbre Country Club. 3 passengers with moderate injuries transported to Cottage Hosp. Call Newsline. pic.twitter.com/0KMP0NzJrY — Dave Zaniboni (@SBCFireInfo) May 5, 2017