A U.S. Marine aircraft made a precautionary emergency landing east of San Diego, near Mount Laguna, on Thursday afternoon, military officials said.
The unplanned landing happened during routine training, shortly before 4 p.m. The helicopter landed 30 miles east of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, USMC Miramar Lieutenant Gabriel Adibe said. Cal Fire spokesman Isaac Sanchez said the Osprey landed in an open field in the Cleveland National Forest in the U.S. Forest Service's jurisdiction.
The MV-22 Osprey made it safely to the ground with no reports of injuries, or damage to the helicopter, officials said.
"The aircraft was conducting routine training and the pilots landed the aircraft safely with no injuries to personnel," read a statement from Gabide.
The aircraft experienced some kind of equipment maintenance issue, U.S. Forest Service's Spokeswoman Olivia Walker said, and landed on private property near Pine Valley. Those possible equipment issues were still being investigated immediately following the incident.
On Friday, Cleveland National Forest officials said the aircraft had experienced some sort of engine malfunction. It was not a serious malfunction, but enough to force the precautionary landing. Officials likened the malfunction to driving your car and seeing the “Check Engine” light go on. Officials said it was part of standard protocol to land the aircraft and get the it checked out and fixed.
As of 9 p.m., the Osprey remained in the field where it landed. Officials said they were working to remove the aircraft from the area, but expected it to stay put through the night. The Osprey's crew stayed in the field with the aircraft.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, the helicopter was still in the field. Officials said they planned to fix the aircraft and have it moved by noon. After repairs, they expected the Osprey to be able to take off without assistance.
However, the removal of their aircraft was delayed and it remained in the field through Friday. Officials said they would remove it over the weekend.
By 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the Osprey was out of the field and in the air.
The site where the helicopter landed is near Mount Laguna Lodge. NBC 7 spoke with an employee from the lodge who said that as soon as he heard the Osprey’s crew was stranded in the field, he went there to feed them dinner. He said the crew of six was thankful.
He said a pilot told him the aircraft had experienced an engine malfunction with the hydraulics, but told him it was nothing serious.