Google Earth Sleuthing – Helicopter Shortly Before Crash

The recent updates to the Google Earth satellite data appears to have captured a helicopter which just minutes or hours later was in a non-fatal accident in Spain that made the news. On 1-Dec-2005 the Spanish opposition leader Mariano Rajoy was slightly injured when a police helicopter departed a bullring in the town of Mostoles, Spain and crashed just outside the stadium.
Yesterday, someone browsing the new satellite data put two and two together and concluded he had found the helicopter in the bull-ring. He posted a placemark at the Google Earth Community under the pseudonym ‘USFer’. You can see the helicopter here . This morning, Frank McVey (an aviation and Google Earth expert) did some sleuthing and determined the photo from Digital Globe in the GE database is in fact dated 01-December-2005. This means the photo does in fact show the helicopter in the bullring which later crashed. Amazing! The moment of the helicopter crash was captured on news video, but fortunately no one was seriously hurt. Here is the CNN story on the crash.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. to answer your question about the Huey’s on Ft. Myer when i was there they were just sitting there no reason that i could find almost like they were being scrapped there wasn’t any kind of plaques to indicate a sort of museum or that they were there on display but they sit right outside the K-9 section(i’m a former dog handler thats how i know) and if you zoom in you can see the obediance course not to far away hope this helps

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