2007_07_libheli.jpgA helicopter operated by Liberty helicopters, a tour company, was forced to make a precautionary landing in Riverside Park yesterday morning at 10AM. No one was on the ground when the chopper touched down at a baseball field near West 79th Street, and no one on the helicopter was injured.

The culprit turned out to be smoke from a broken light bulb, according to the Daily News and Newsday, but the NY Times describes it as "engine trouble." When the chopper lifted off around 11AM, it was followed by a police helicopter.

Liberty Helicopters is the same company whose helicopter crashed into the Hudson River earlier this month. When Newsday called Liberty for a comment, a man said, "I have no idea what you're talking about" and hung up.

This comes a day after the horrific crash of two Phoenix news choppers that were following a police chase. WNBC's Chopper 4 reporter Dan Rice wrote about the crash; he says, "Yes, there is no bigger thrill in this job than beating the other choppers to a story. I take pride in trying to be the first AND in being accurate. However, when we are not flying, all of us hang out together and enjoy each other’s company."