An Aerial Incident in Medellín: Rescue and Controversy


On an afternoon that will remain etched in the memories of the residents of the Manrique neighborhood in Medellín, an unusual incident involving a tourist helicopter sparked concern and astonishment. On Monday, February 26, an aircraft, which usually offers scenic flights to customers of the Hangar M45 Rooftop restaurant, suffered an accident that ended with the helicopter hanging from a building, leaving five people suspended in the air, including four passengers and the pilot.

The helicopter, a Bell 206 with registration HK4810, had taken off from Olaya Herrera airport at 5:30 p.m., promising an experience of between 12 to 15 minutes that included a welcome cocktail and a city flyover. However, what was meant to be a pleasant sightseeing tour turned into a scene of tension and fear. Videos shared on social media showed how the aircraft, after taking off, began experiencing difficulties, spinning several times in the air before crashing into an antenna and getting trapped.

The incident prompted immediate mobilization from both local residents and rescue teams. Dozens of people approached the site to offer their help, while the pilot attempted, unsuccessfully, to exit the helicopter. Authorities, including the Medellín Fire Department, responded promptly, arriving at the scene at 5:54 p.m. to attend to the accident. The situation was complicated by adverse weather conditions, including cloudiness and strong winds, which could have contributed to the accident, as well as the presence of lightning rods and the need to cut off the electricity supply to ensure a safe rescue.

The Civil Aviation Authority announced that an investigation would be conducted to determine the causes of the accident and verify the helicopter’s operating permits. This incident has highlighted not only the risks associated with aerial operations in urban areas but also residents’ concerns about noise and disturbances caused by these activities. Before the accident, there had already been requests to the Municipality to review the aircraft’s permits, given the community’s concern about the impact of takeoff and landing operations in a predominantly residential area.

This incident sparks a debate on the regulation and supervision of tourist and entertainment activities involving the use of aircraft in urban settings. As authorities work to clarify the circumstances that led to this dangerous incident, the community awaits answers and measures that ensure their safety and peace. The experience of a sightseeing flight, promising spectacular views and thrilling emotions, should never endanger people’s lives or disrupt the peace of the communities watching from below.