Like a scene from an action movie, a crippled news helicopter, with thick smoke streaming from its engine and engulfing the cockpit, was forced to make an emergency landing in Hollywood during rush-hour traffic.
The incident occurred on August 27 during a prime time news broadcast when the chopper, owned by KTLA, a CW-affiliated television station, flew into distress mode after catching fire.
According to KTLA, pilot Tim Lynn and videographer Jeff Laabs were covering a spot news story when the aircraft began to leak oil and malfunction, creating a dangerous and nail-biting situation in the sky over the popular tourist destination.
As sirens blared and ground-based emergency crews raced toward a possible disaster area, Lynn, with limiting visual flight rules, searched frantically for a safe spot to land the disabled helicopter.
An experienced pilot, Lynn was able to set the chopper down in a vacant lot located at Highland Boulevard and Franklin Avenue, an area surrounded by populated buildings and heavy traffic.
Both Lynn and Laabs escaped without injury.
"God did spare my life. If it's not my time, it's not my time yet," Laabs, 24, told his employer, KTLA.
It was only Laab's second day on the job as a news videographer, reported KTLA.