NEWPORT BEACH (LA Times) — A passenger in a helicopter flying over the Newport Beach shoreline Tuesday opened the door and jumped out, falling about 500 feet to the ocean, authorities said.
The man later died at a local hospital.
Newport Beach police are investigating the 60-year-old man’s death as a possible suicide. The Federal Aviation Administration is also reviewing the incident.
The man had apparently booked a 30-minute coastal tour for two people but showed up alone, said Chuck Street, a longtime helicopter pilot whose son was flying the chopper. The man paid $310 in advance for the flight.
At about 12:45 p.m., Street’s son, Corbin, took off with his passenger from Fullerton Airport, planning to follow a typical path toward Irvine, over Pelican Hill and north along the coast, Street said.
About 15 minutes later, dispatchers received reports that someone had fallen from a helicopter near the Balboa Pier, said Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.
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