Helicopter crashes on Lindenhurst street

News 12 Long Island has learned a student and his instructor based out of Republic Airport were in the helicopter at the time of the incident. Both are OK.

News 12 Long Island has learned a student and his instructor based out of Republic Airport were in the helicopter at the time of the incident. Both are OK. (1/27/16)

LINDENHURST - A student and an instructor were able to walk away unscathed after crashing a helicopter on a Lindenhurst street Wednesday.

The Robinson R22 chopper ended up on its side at the intersection of Buena Vista Boulevard and East Alhambra Avenue. 

Officials say a mayday call to the control tower came in just before noon. Suffolk police say the pilot was 26-year-old Joseph Lombardo. His passenger was identified as 27-year-old Ming Chen, who was taking his first flying lesson.

Lombardo was on his way back to Republic Airport from a practice area off the South Shore when officials say he experienced a power failure.

The only casualty of the crash was a street sign that was ripped from its post. Michael Canders, a flight instructor and pilot for more than 30 years, says it's particularly impressive that Lombardo found a spot to land among the lingering snow.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.

 

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