LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A helicopter that went down in the Griffith Park area Thursday had been involved in a crash landing in 2011.

The small private helicopter went down at 2800 East Observatory Road around 2:17 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.

The pilot and three passengers escaped with only minor injuries.

According to the FAA, the same rotorcraft was involved in a crash landing just outside of Denver, Colorado in July 2011.

KCAL9’s Dave Lopez reports there were problems upon take-off in the earlier incident. The pilot was on board alone and walked away unharmed.

The National Transportation Safety Board verified with the network’s Suraya Fadel a helicopter with the same tail number was involved in a 2011 crash.

The private helicopter is registered to a company based out of Denver.

Fire officials say the pilot took off from Redlands with three passengers. The helicopter then began experiencing mechanical problems and was forced to land on a peak that overlooks the Roosevelt Golf Course.

Emergency officials were called to the scene after a hiker called 911.

Eyewitnesses said they saw the chopper trying to land on the hilltop.

“It was trying to land on top of a random hill… it landed for two or three seconds, and then it went back up again,” one man said.

“I saw the propeller was crooked, and then it tumbled over.”

“It started flipping and it crashed, and four people came out,” another man described.

City fire officials said the pilot, a 25-year-old man and two women, aged 33 and 25, all suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization.

A 50-year-old park ranger who was trying to help them was taken to a hospital in serious condition with heat exhaustion. He has since been released.

Victims involved declined to talk to the media before they were escorted off the hiking trail after receiving medical attention.

Fuel was seen leaking from the chopper after the crash landing. That leak has since been stopped.

The FAA And NTSB are investigating.

(©2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)


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