The noise was thunderous – the window panes in the office started to shake and tiles from the ceiling wanted to fall, and I could hear the reverberation from the helicopter having trouble.
That is the way Assistant Football Coach Michael Cole described the noise that he heard when a helicopter from the Pasadena police department made an emergency landing on Sartoris field on March 11.
“We were in a meeting with coach John Rome,” said Cole. “The commotion interrupted us and the coach sent me outside to see what was going on. When I got there I saw a helicopter on the football field, I ran back inside and told coach Rome about the it and his first concern was for the students. We all ran to the field to make sure we could secure the area .”
According to Cole, Rome asked the athletes to leave the field. They were not in any danger, but for safety reasons he thought it would be the sensible thing to do.
Lt. Mike Ingram, spokesperson for the Pasadena Police department said that the pilot received a warning from the instrument panel – a light went on indicating an engine malfunction. Although the engine was still functional, the pilot decided to take precautionary measures and the safest place in sight was the football field.
“Our pilots are very skillful,” said Ingram, “they are trained to the to the highest standards in some of the best schools in the country and here locally.”
Former ASGCC Senator of Administration Anahit Grigoryan was sitting in the bleachers watching the sunset and the soccer class, when the copter appeared behind her and then landed creating a wind storm.
“At first I was concerned because I thought something was happening on campus. The helicopter had police [written] on the side of it and I did not get the school alert.”
“The wind from the helicopter rotors was so strong that it blew my hair all over,” said Grigoryan, “and it made a mess of it. My sunglasses blew away from my head and I had to hold on to my backpack .”
Glendale police soon arrived and secured the area. By this time the pilot had gotten out of the helicopter to further assess the situation and met with officials of the Glendale police to assure them that everything was under control and there was no danger.
No one was injured in the landing and the helicopter was removed by a large tow truck shortly after sunset.