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Chopper 4's pilot talks about UNM Hospital crash

Created: 04/25/2014 10:37 PM
By: Tom Joles, KOB Eyewitness News 4

On April 9, Chopper 4 pilot J.D. Christian helped KOB Eyewitness News 4 get live pictures on the air of the crashed chopper on the roof of UNM Hospital.

Outwardly, he was cool.  Inside, he was concerned.

"I have a lot of friends in the industry," Christian said. "You never want one of your friends to be involved in an accident."

It turns out Christian did not know the pilot of the PHI chopper, but he admires his work.

"You see the helicopter on the side of the rooftop and you start thinking, they're lucky they didn't go off the side of the roof," Christian said. "He did a good job of keeping it there. It could have been a lot worse."

In the seconds before the crash, the video shows the helicopter going around and around, going up and down, bucking like a crazed mechanical bull.

Our pilot says flying a helicopter is tricky enough when there's not a problem.

"They equate it to juggling on top of unicycle, chewing gum, all at the same time. There are a lot of things happening," Christian said.

Christian says not being there, it's hard to tell what happened. But he has an educated guess.

"Just as an outsider looking in, it looks like there was some kind of stuck pedal or something with the helicopter.  You know, he started spinning out of control," Christian said.

It could be months before federal investigators release their findings on what caused the crash.

The helicopter was moved off the roof three days after the crash.

The feds are going over the wreckage right now, looking for clues.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in the crash.


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