One confirmed fatality after helicopter crashes on Catalina Island
CATALINA ISLAND, Calif. (FOX 11) - One person died after a helicopter crashed on Catalina Island, officials said Tuesday.
Emergency crews were searching for the missing helicopter around 9:30 a.m. The Los Angeles County Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Special Enforcement Bureau (SEBLASD), and LAFD Air Operations Section all assisted in the search.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Avalon Station said that the helicopter had been missing for 11 hours.
Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration said his agency received an unconfirmed report of "a missing Robinson R44 helicopter that was traveling from Torrance to Avalon.''
Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, SEBLASD Air Rescue 5 located debris and a smoldering fire at a crash site on the west end of Catalina Island. Ground units were called to respond to the crash site around 10:15 a.m. LAFD said there was one confirmed fatality.
"It is believed the aircraft had 1 sole occupant," LACSD said in a tweet.
Sheriff's Sgt. Craig Harman of the Avalon Station said the pilot's family had reported that the man would often fly the helicopter over the ocean from Torrance. Harman said authorities believe the man was the lone occupant of the helicopter.
The man's name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.
CNS contributed to this report.