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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43455
Last updated: 9 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 350B1 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:Los Angeles Police Department Air Support Dvision
Registration: N214LA
C/n / msn: 2134
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Corner of Vernon & Raymond Avenues, Los Angeles, California -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Los Angeles, CA
Destination airport:Los Angeles, CA
Investigating agency: NTSB
On June 13, 1991, Officers Gary Alan Howe and Charles Randall Champe were killed when they experienced an in-flight engine failure which caused their helicopter to crash into a parking lot and burst into flames. They were flying an AS350B1 helicopter (U.S. registration N214LA).

What was not so widely reported was that one person on the ground was also killed. Per a report in The Los Angeles Times for June 29 1991:

"Third Victim of LAPD Copter Crash Identified

When the father of her children didn't come home one night two weeks ago, Cecilia Rugamas did not panic. It had happened before. She had been with Lino Falguero for more than 11 years. They came to Los Angeles from El Salvador together, and had two children. Falguero sometimes would disappear for several days, but would always return.

That is what Rugamas and her sister told coroner's Investigator Nick Romero to explain why they waited a week to file a missing person's report. They did not want to believe that Falguero might be the unknown man on the ground who was killed when a police helicopter crashed within 100 yards of their home June 13.

Coroner's investigators said Thursday they had confirmed that Lino Daniel Falguero, a 36-year-old furniture salesman, was the third victim of the helicopter crash at Vernon and Raymond avenues that also killed veteran Police Officers Gary Howe, 41, and Charles (Randy) Champe, 46.

For two weeks, Falguero had been known as "John Doe No. 121." The body was so badly burned that only a "barely legible" set of fingerprints could be obtained, investigators said. An initial computer comparison of the fingerprints with records held by various agencies proved unsuccessful.

Then Rugamas filed the missing person's report at the Police Department's 77th Street station. The description--height, weight, a slight gap between the two front teeth--matched.

Further investigation showed that Falguero had been arrested by the California Highway Patrol on a misdemeanor charge in 1987. With assistance from the Police Department, the coroner's office was able to obtain a "more legible" set of prints, which matched the victim's.

Falguero is survived by Rugamas, an 11-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter."


1. FAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
01-Jul-2014 20:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
01-Jul-2014 20:57 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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