LA Sheriff's helicopter makes emergency landing in Long Beach

LONG BEACH — Partial engine failure forced a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter to make an emergency landing today at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, but no one was injured.

The sheriff's Air-5 Sikorsky helicopter landed safely on the school's athletic field around 12:40 p.m. after problems were detected during a maintenance check flight over the Pacific Ocean, said Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

One of two engines of the helicopter failed so the crew started back toward Long Beach Airport, Parker said. When the pilots noticed a sudden loss of engine oil, they prepared for an emergency landing.

"It was necessary, under emergency procedures, to off-load some fuel to lighten the aircraft over downtown Long Beach from an altitude of about 1,000 feet,'' Parker said.