New surveillance footage shows helicopter crashing on hospital rooftop

CNN NEWS/KOAT/University of New Mexico Hospital
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POSTED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:45am

UPDATED: Monday, April 28, 2014 - 11:37am

Brand new video shows a medical helicopter crashing on the roof of a hospital before it could even take off. Everyone inside is okay, Mike Springer has more on the quick thinking by the pilot.

It all happened in a matter of seconds, University of New Mexico Hospital surveillance video shows this PHI medical helicopter's tail spinning, as its crew tries to take off from the helo pad and then crashes on its roof.

Neal Lawson, Pilot, "As a pilot you're always looking at accidents and trying to put yourself in that pilot's place"

Neil Lawson flies the Sky 7 helicopter, he flew over the crash that day and got a birds eye glance of the aftermath.

The pilot of the crashed helicopter told investigators the pedal froze up on him causing it to land on its side and by the roof's edge, a decision he only had seconds to make.

Neal Lawson, "In a situation like that you don't really have time to think about what you're going to do. If you're trained properly you're simply going to do it"

Flames and smoke rise from the helicopters body as crews come running to their aid.

They were able to rescue the pilot and the two other crew members on board.

The quick action by the ground crew and the pilot is being credited with saving the lives of those on board.

Neal Lawson, "I'm glad he got it down where he did so that it didn't go over the edge of the building. You just really cannot describe how bad it could've gotten at that point"

The official cause of the crash is not yet known.

Hospital officials say they could be waiting up to nine months for those answers.

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