KTLA's Sky5 Makes Emergency Landing in Hollywood
Sky5 emergency landing captured by KCBS/KCAL helicopter. (August 27, 2012)
Pilot Tim Lynn and cameraman Jeff Laabs were over breaking news during KTLA's 6 p.m. newscast when Sky5's engine began to malfunction.
Smoke filled the cockpit, and the KCBS/KCAL helicopter captured the dramatic emergency landing in a vacant parking lot at Highland Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
Fortunately, at rush hour, Lynn managed to land the helicopter safely in the lot despite surrounding buildings and heavy traffic.
"I just did what I was trained to do over all the years of flying," Lynn said after the incident.
"God did spare my life. If it's not my time, it's not my time yet," said Laabs, 24, who was only in his second day on the job as Sky5's cameraman.
"I told Jeff this morning, 'Isn't working in the copter kind of scary?'" his mother said via phone. "And he said no, and he said my mom told him that you need to pray when you go to work and then while you're up in the air."
Both Lynn and Laabs agreed that the emergency landing was more than just lucky.
"The miracle was an empty parking lot in Hollywood in rush hour," Lynn said.
"I turned and I saw this and I was like really, plenty of room, nice approach to it and I had a good street to go to if I needed to," he said. "It was perfect as far as where to go."
L.A. City Fire and Rescue was on the ground, but no one needed to be transported.
Fire officials said that an oil leak was likely to blame for the fire.