EMERGENCY COPTER LANDING IN RUMSON

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Today’s Asbury Park Press reports that a helicopter made an emergency landing in the yard of a riverfront Rumson home yesterday after encountering engine problems.

The copter was enroute from Bridgeport, Conn., to Pottsville, Pa. Pilot Charles Priestley put it down about 200 feet from the Markwood Lane home of Carol and Donald Blesses on the Navesink River near Barley Point Island.

From the story:

Carol Blesse, who was gardening when Priestley dropped in about 4:30 p.m., first saw the helicopter when it was 50 feet in the air. Donald Blesse said he was working in the basement when he heard the helicopter making noises similar to a backfiring motorcycle.

“And as I walked out, I saw a perfect landing,” he said.

Priestley first wanted to land on a football field at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, but decided to look elsewhere after seeing children there, Police Chief Richard Tobias said.

Less than a mile away to the northeast was the Blesses’ front lawn, what Donald Blesse described as an open field of about 1.5 acres with “nothing in the way.”

The copter was on a work-related flight for Hummingbird Helicopter Service, LLC., which is based in Connecticut and does cargo-hauling and aerial photography.

The Blesses put Priestly, of Connecticut, up for the night. He’s expected to take off today if he can fix the engine and get approval from state transportation officials, the Press reports.

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