MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – No one was injured Tuesday night when a private training helicopter struck a fence near a parking lot at Miami Executive Airport, a spokesman from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department confirmed.
Communications Director Greg Chin said there was damage, however, to the helicopter and a few parked vehicles.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews and police responded to the scene at 12800 SW 145th Ave. after the incident.
According to a spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Robinson R44 helicopter’s rotor struck the fence while landing around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
He said four people were on board -- two men and two women.
Two of the people on board the helicopter were from out of town and had just taken a tour of Miami with their friend.
“It sounded like gunshots or someone’s engine ripping very loud,” said line technician Anthony Valle, who had sent the group off. “I freaked out because I was the one that saw them take off. I helped them with everything.”
Valle said the helicopter had already touched ground, and then something went wrong soon after.
He said the chopper lost control and smashed into the fence.
The incident happened just feet away from a fuel truck and another small plane.
“Inches -- it came inches from the fuel truck,” Valle said. “I mean, everyone would have died.”
It’s unclear what caused the pilot to strike the fence, but the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, with the NTSB taking the lead in the investigation.