Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office helicopter makes ‘hard landing’ in field near Plant City

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office helicopter made a “hard landing” in a field near Plant City on Wednesday after declaring an emergency , according to officials.

At about 4 p.m., two pilots had to make an emergency landing in a field near County Road 39, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. No one on board was injured, but the helicopter was damaged.

The pilot declared an emergency due to a mechanical issue, according to a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The safety of our deputies and pilots is our top priority,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “The helicopter will be grounded while a full investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident.”

Cpl. Jeramy Butler was flying the helicopter, deputies said. He’s been with the sheriff’s office aviation unit since 2014 with no reported flight incidents. Sheriff’s Pilot Robert Bateman has been with the aviation unit since 2021 and has experienced one bird strike.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

No other details were immediately available.

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