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Student pilot involved in Long Beach helicopter crash, FAA official says [Updated]

October 12, 2010 |  2:30 pm

A student and his flight instructor were practicing hovering at a Long Beach Airport helipad when the right skid of the aircraft touched the ground and the aircraft rolled over in a grassy area, a Federal Aviation Administration official said Tuesday afternoon.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the flight instructor was uninjured and the student suffered minor leg and shoulder injuries. Both were taken to local hospitals.

The helicopter, a four-seat Robinson R44, began leaking fuel after tipping on its side, according to reports received by the FAA around 12:40 p.m. Long Beach Fire Department officials put the time of the incident at about 12:30 p.m. [For the record at 1:13 p.m. Wednesday: An earlier version of this post stated that the Robinson R-44 had two seats. It has four.]

The helicopter is registered to Rick Shuster Aviation Services, based in Thousand Oaks, according to FAA records.

-- Andrew Blankstein