NewsPolk County


Crews rescue 2 pilots after Polk Sheriff's Office helicopter, gyrocopter crash land in field

Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 17:25:29-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Polk County Sheriff's Office helicopter and a gyrocopter are both down in a field after separate crash landings in Ft. Meade.

Aerials from Action Air 1 showed the Sheriff's Office helicopter on its side on Thursday.

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According to PCSO, the two pilots both had hard landings. The pilots were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

Authorities say the gyropcopter went down first, crashing on Mosaic property near Manley Road. While the PCSO helicopter, operated by 52-year-old Lavon Hughes, was above that scene it also went down.

Authorities say the area is extremely rural, wet and mucky — which made the rescue difficult and led to the Coast Guard being called in.

"I'd like to thank the other agencies who came out this afternoon such as Polk Fire Rescue, FWC, Mosaic personnel, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Seminole County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Coast Guard. This was an extraordinary situation, and we're happy that both men were not seriously hurt," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Both men were taken to a local hospital after they were rescued. The sheriff's office said they are doing well.

The name of the gyrocopter pilot has not been released.

The FAA said it will investigate both hard landings.