Sheriff's Helicopter Does Emergency Landing At High School

A Fresno County deputy sheriff had to think fast Wednesday night after feeling a vibration in the helicopter he was piloting.

A watch commander with the sheriff's office told KMPH News the deputy was piloting "Eagle One", helping other deputies on the ground with a burglary in the Easton area, when he felt a vibration in the tail rotor.{} That prompted him to declare an emergency, and land on the baseball field at nearby Washington Union High School just after 9:00 p.m.{} The aircraft landed safely.{} Neither the pilot nor the passenger (another deputy) were hurt; no one on the ground was either.

The watch commander says it's unclear what's wrong with the helicopter.{}{}Just to be safe, the chopper will stay on the baseball field overnight.{} Mechanics are expected to check out the helicopter first thing Thursday morning to take apart the engine to figure out why the tail rotor was vibrating.

The watch commander says the chopper had been in the air for around 3 hours before the pilot decided to make the emergency landing.