A St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office helicopter suffered a catastrophic engine failure and was forced to make an emergency landing on Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass on Wednesday night.
According to WJXT4, Undersheriff Matt Cline said the pilot and co-pilot were patrolling the area for this week’s Players Championship when they suddenly needed to make a crash landing due to a mechanical problem at about 5:55 p.m. Cline said the pilot was able to put the helicopter in autorotation and successfully glide it safely onto the ground. The pilot had to avoid power lines and trees as it descended from 1,100 feet, and Cline said the pilot had just two to three minutes to land the helicopter without power. According to Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, Cline said “it was a miracle the pilot was able to land this helicopter.”
The helicopter landed on the 17th hole of Dye’s Valley Course, which was empty due to this week’s Players. Dye’s Valley Course and the Stadium Course are the two 18-hole courses at TPC Sawgrass.
According to Cline, neither the pilot nor the other officer aboard were injured. Both were transported to a nearby hospital.
A flatbed truck removed the helicopter from the course on Wednesday night.