A 61 year-old California man died from personal injuries sustained in a fall out of a tour helicopter in Newport Beach, California. According to the man’s brother, he likely committed suicide by jumping out of the helicopter.
Greg McFadden booked a seemingly normal 30-minute helicopter tour of southern California for two people. When McFadden showed up for the tour alone, pilot Corbin Street, son of a local traffic reporter, thought nothing of it. Street took the helicopter into the air and began the tour, with McFadden strapped in at the back of the machine. Only when McFadden kept asking Corbin to fly higher did Corbin become suspicious. At that point, McFadden undid the seatbelt and opened the helicopter door. Corbin grabbed McFadden with one hand in an attempt to keep him inside the helicopter. McFadden struggled. After his shirt ripped, he was able to jump out.
McFadden landed in the water near Balboa Pier as horrified pedestrians looked on. A lifeguard got McFadden quickly to shore, but the injuries that McFadden sustained in the 500 foot drop were too severe. McFadden died later that day at a local hospital.
According to McFadden’s brother, Brad, he suffered from a chronic condition which caused acid reflux. This condition caused McFadden to choke when he went to bed, and prevented him from getting more than a couple of hours of sleep each night. McFadden had lived with the condition for 15 years, and was hoping to get surgery for it, but the surgery kept getting delayed.
Local police are investigating McFadden’s death as a suicide.
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