Sightseeing helicopter makes emergency landing in ocean off Key West

Pilot, 2 passengers walk away with minor injuries

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor
Key West Police Department

This helicopter, operated by Air Adventure Helicopter Tours, made an emergency landing in the Atlantic Ocean off Key West.

KEY WEST, Fla. - A sightseeing helicopter made an emergency landing Monday night in the Atlantic Ocean off Key West.

The Air Adventure Helicopter Tours flight made an emergency landing in the water about 7:45 p.m., shortly after taking off from Key West International Airport.

Key West police said the helicopter touched down in the water about 30 yards south of Roosevelt Boulevard.

Peter Closi, president and owner of Air Adventure Helicopter Tours, told that the pilot and two passengers on the helicopter were treated for minor injuries.

Closi said the helicopter's tail rotor came off mid-flight and his pilot did everything right, calling it an unfortunate but "best-case scenario" given the circumstances.

"I can't think of a better outcome," he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what happened.

Closi said the company's annual inspection was about a month ago, but Air Adventure Helicopter Tours won't be flying until the FAA determines what went wrong.

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