Dramatic video captures helicopter rescue after crash in Coconut Creek

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – A helicopter pilot working with a crew on a project in Tradewinds Park had to be rescued from a heavily wooded area after the chopper crashed Thursday.

The crash happened shortly after noon when it was reported that the helicopter went down in the 3600 block of West Sample Road.

Coconut Creek police spokesman Scotty Leamon said construction was being done in the area.

“We knew that the helicopter would be out today picking up the pipe and construction material from one place and transporting it to another place and dropping it off,” said Leamon.

The Coconut Creek Police said that the helicopter pilot was part of a county crew that was restoring a drainage system in Tradewinds Park.

Several fire companies from Margate-Coconut Creek Fire Rescue arrived on the scene. By foot they got to the remote crash site, where a spokesperson for the city of Margate said they were able to rescue and stabilize the injured pilot.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Department Technical Rescue Team and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Air Rescue North were able to hoist the injured pilot from the crash site and he was then transport to a local hospital.

“It was an extremely difficult area to work within, heavily wooded,” Lt. Alex Acosta of Miami-Dade Air Rescue said. Acosta said much of the site had to be cleared using chainsaws to get to the wreckage.

Leamon said the pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter.

One Margate-Coconut Creek firefighter was treated and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a city of Margate official.

Coconut Creek police said the helicopter pilot suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“It’s a great feeling. That’s why we do the job, to save lives and to help out,” said F.M. Jorge Ley of Miami-Dade Air Rescue.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived on the scene and are investigating what caused the chopper to crash.

About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.