SAN DIEGO — A helicopter pilot was killed on the San Diego waterfront Wednesday when his aircraft crashed on takeoff because one of its pontoons was still lashed to the deck of a tuna seiner, authorities said.
"The 'copter got about five feet off the ground and, like a rubber band, it snapped right back down," said Larry O'Brien, a dock employee.
The pilot, whose identity was withheld pending notification of relatives, was declared dead at the scene at the 10th Street Terminal, near downtown San Diego. No other injuries were reported.
A dozen firefighters and a fire boat helped put out a small fuel blaze that resulted when the helicopter hit the starboard side of the ship.