News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 03/15/2012
Subject :

Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing into Palo Alto Baylands
Contact : Lieutenant Zach Perron, Police Department    650-329-2413
March 15, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

Palo Alto, CA
-- The pilot of a small helicopter on approach to Palo Alto Airport had to make an emergency landing this afternoon in the Emily Renzel Wetlands area of the Baylands Nature Preserve. The pilot escaped with only minor injuries.

At about 4:46 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, 2012, the Palo Alto Police Department's dispatch center received several 9-1-1 calls of a helicopter that had crashed somewhere in the area of the Palo Alto Golf Course. Personnel from the Palo Alto Police Department and Palo Alto Fire Department responded, and were able to locate the downed aircraft, a Robinson R-22 helicopter, in the marsh near the 2600 block of East Bayshore Road.

The helicopter had landed on its side in about four feet of water, but the pilot was able to get out of the aircraft prior to the arrival of emergency personnel. Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated the pilot for minor injuries at the scene. There were no passengers on board the helicopter. It did not catch fire.

Initial reports indicate that the helicopter had experienced engine problems prior to the emergency landing. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), assisted by the

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is conducting an investigation into the probable cause of the accident. While a basic preliminary report on the accident may be posted on the NTSB website ( within a week or two, it typically takes the NTSB months to come up with the probable cause. Any additional inquiries about this accident should be directed to FAA Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor at

Neither the FAA, nor the NTSB, nor the Palo Alto Police Department will release additional information about the identity of the pilot, in accordance with standard agency procedures.