CARLSBAD — Two San Diego County men were killed Wednesday after a helicopter crash at McClellan-Palomar Airport.
The pilot, Bruce Allen Erickson, 65, and passenger Wayne Frank Lewis, 60, of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, died after the helicopter they were in spun out of control at about 4:23 p.m. during a landing, according to Carlsbad Fire Department Division Chief Mike Lopez.
According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, the tail of the helicopter impacted the ground and caused the aircraft to spin out of control.
An official with the National Transportation and Safety Board, however, said the cause of the crash is under investigation. A preliminary NTSB report is expected to be released in about two weeks.
Lopez said that CFD, along with county, Vista and San Marcos units were called to the scene.
The four-passenger helicopter, according to Lopez, was still spinning when the county’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighter team arrived at the scene, although no further deaths or injuries were reported.
“When we arrived on scene, we found an AStar, four-passenger helicopter that had crash landed on the runway,” Lopez said. “On behalf of the Carlsbad Fire Department, our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of those that passed away.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.