Sky9 Makes Hard Landing

PACOIMA (CBS) — CBS 2/KCAL 9’s Sky9 made a hard landing on a runway at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima Friday when its engine failed one minute after takeoff.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou Reports

Pilot Derek Bell and cameraman Chris Haug quickly returned to Whiteman for an emergency landing. As part of the emergency landing procedure, Bell flared the chopper (nose up) to slow it down and hit the tail boom against the runway, resulting in the tail boom coming off, according to CBS 2/KCAL 9 News Director Scott Diener.

Neither Bell or Haug were injured, but it was unknown what caused the engine to fail. Diener said Bell and Haug even asked if they should go up in the other chopper to complete their shifts.

Aerial footage from Sky2 showed Sky9’s damaged tail rotor.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • BGC

    Glad everyone is safe. Skids down and main rotor up….that’s a good landing folks.

  • Mike rodriguez

    Just hope Larry or Derek are ok!

  • Truther

    Is this the chopper that broke the Calif missile story? Are they trying to shut you up?

    9/11 was an inside job … break that one open!

  • TheBroadcastWoman

    Good to know all are safe. Used to work with some of these folks.

  • Mini Mousekat

    I hate to say this, and honestly I am glad that everyone is ok, but karma strikes. I have been observing how the news (in general, not just this station), has been trying to make a very bad situation out of the Carnival incident, and almost appearing that they want Carnival to lose business because of an ACCIDENT. I have a friend on the ship, and it was not as bad as the disaster that the news stations were making it. She said Carnival was professional and caring the whole time, and is appalled at the news reports that I taped for her. Please do not take this as a slam against anyone. Just saying.

    • JD

      One has nothing to do with the other. You are a bad person for wishing ill on others because of a perceived slight from a news story. Shame on you.

      • Mini Mousekat

        Did you not read my first sentence? Talk about taking out of context. Was just making a point. I dont wish ill on ANYONE.

    • Mouse Killer

      How dare you bring karma into this over the Ship incident. The helicopter crew had NOTHING to do with saying any unfair facts about the the cruise ship. They weren’t even down in San Diego, ground crews were. My boyfriend is a ENG Helicopter pilot and to read such an idiotic statement boils my blood over your ignorance!

    • ER

      Shame on you for even mentioning that Karma strikes. I had a friend in that helicopter and I am thankful he is ok.

  • PeteM

    Ditto. Looks pretty new to me.

  • john strohm

    great pilot kudo’s

  • Mike rodriguez

    Nice work Derek! We. Los Angeles can get another Sky9 but we can’t get another Derek Bell!

  • Bob Turner

    A tribute to a truly GREAT pilot! Glad Derek is okay.

  • Mark

    Does no one proof read anymore? The first part of the story says the chopper went down on a street near the airport. Then it goes on to say it landed on the runway. Glad the pilot is better at his job than the writers are at theirs.

    • Ken V.

      I think they were just calling the street a runway

      • Gary

        No, they were calling the runway a street!

    • Mark

      Thank you kcal for updating the story. Derek, saw you on the noon report. You are one cool cat! Great job!

  • Linda

    Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! Glad to know that these gentlemen and all on the ground are ok as I have friends working at that airport. Great piloting Derek! I suggest both of you take the rest of the day off!


    These men were doing their jobs. I”M so happy things turned out well for them.. As for the person talking about Karma, You better hope it doesnt bite you where the good lord split you. Glad the crew are safe. We love you here in rancho cucamonga.

  • Tall Lean

    Shame on you Mini Mousekat – For that comment, Karma should haunt you!

  • Josh Butts

    At first i thought this might have to do with the high winds. Just the motor failed tho. Good landing on a failed motor and in high winds. Just proves Derek’s piloting skills are way up there.

  • Carole

    To :”Truther” about that comment: W H A T ? ? ? ? ?

  • icecream

    Great emergency procedures, Derek.
    I am so very thankful to God that you and Chris are well and ready to continue flying.
    MEGABLESSINGS to you both !!!

  • Talamascaa

    Man, some of you are so ubber sensitive. People have the right to think and say what they want. So many of you are so against people speaking out that this country is losing more rights by the day and you aren’t even realizing it.
    You don’t have to agree with him but ganging up on them because they have a different POV than you do or you know someone who blah blah blah, is a little juvenile.

  • Cleanjeans

    If karma doesn’t apply here… Where does it apply? Is there a karma list that shows what is applicable and what is not?

  • Johnny Five

    LOL, you all are so lame jumping on someone who speaks about Karma. You people are not saints, that’s for sure.

  • just another H pilot

    Thank goodness they are okay. That’s karma. They are safe after a mechanical failure. So that’s good karma coming around keeping them from harm. The most dangerous time for a helicopter pilot (absent bad weather) is take-off and landing. The machine can be fixed. The people are what’s important and part of what kept them from getting hurt was their training and experience.

  • abcpc1


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