Helicopter makes hard landing at Memorial Hermann-Memorial City

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A chopper had a close call at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Memorial City Monday evening -- a frightening experience for the crew of a medical helicopter when it began spinning out of control.

Authorities are calling it a hard landing.

"It landed perfectly fine and sat for a moment," says eyewitness Jessica Brown.

PHOTOS: Chopper makes hard landing

But Brown says after a few minutes, this helicopter shot back up into the air. She estimates it got about to the top of the building but hovered over the helipad.

"When it got a little bit high and it just started going in circles. And it rotated probably five, six, seven times," she said.

She tells us she thought the chopper was doing tricks.

"And I thought that's really odd for the hospital helicopter to be doing tricks. Then when it hit the ground we were like, 'Oh my gosh! What happened?' We were hoping that nobody was in it, that nobody got hurt," she said.

Three people were on board: the pilot, a paramedic and a nurse. This was a Methodist Air Care chopper based in Seguin. It's operated by Air Evac Lifeteam in O'Fallon, Missouri.

A spokesperson tells us they'd dropped off a patient. The pilot went to refuel at Sugar Land Regional Airport and came back to get the crew. This hard landing happened as they were leaving to head home. All three were able to walk away without injuries.

Memorial Hermann says the hard landing didn't impact the building's infrastructure. Patient flights were redirected to other Memorial Hermann hospitals.

A hospital spokesperson issued a statement that reads in part: "At this time, we are cooperating with appropriate authorities regarding an on-site investigation and will be working quickly to safely re-open our Memorial City helipad. In the meantime, all patient flights will be re-directed to other Memorial Hermann hospitals."
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