Man Leaps to His Death During Helicopter Ride
Gregory McFadden plunged 500 to 750 feet into Pacific Ocean
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2013 8:21 AM CST
Not the helicopter in question.   (©)

(Newser) – A Newport Beach fisherman witnessed a terrifying sight yesterday: A 61-year-old man plunging hundreds of feet to his death in the Pacific Ocean. Gregory McFadden booked a helicopter tour of the coast for $310, then, per the FAA, opened the door mid-flight and jumped out. "I saw the door open. I thought it was a bird," the fisherman tells KCAL9. Then he made out the man's legs. McFadden fell between 500 and 750 feet, based on reports, and landed in the water about 45 feet from shore; he was pulled out by rescuers but died later at a hospital.

The helicopter pilot's dad says that based on what police have told him, his son struggled with McFadden as he was attempting to jump, the Los Angeles Times reports. He adds that McFadden was making requests that struck his son as odd: that the pilot fly along the shore, and fly higher. "When they got towards the Balboa Pier, he started to take his seat belt off and he started to open the door. My son said, 'What are you doing? What are you doing?'" and ripped his shirt while trying to stop him. Police reportedly found a suicide note, and McFadden's brother says the man was battling both depression and throat disease. Police and the FAA are investigating the incident as a possible suicide.

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Showing 3 of 90 comments
Mark Dreher
Jan 26, 2014 8:05 AM CST
That is not "the worst way to die". As you stated. I could think of a million worse ways.
YeahISaidItSoWhatHuh
Nov 25, 2013 3:44 PM CST
Joy Cameron...WTF?? What is your point? Or points? Or whatever? Bad reporting? Cable cost? Pissed off at life? Get a grip!! Your posting is rambling on steroids!!! Reads like a crazy person wrote it.
Joy Cameron
Nov 19, 2013 7:06 PM CST
OUR OUTSTANDING NEWS REPORTER PUT THIS OUT IN THE NEWS IN OUR LOCAL AREA AND ALL THAT WAS SAID WAS, IT'S TO BELIEVE SOMEONE FELL OUT OF A AIRPLANE! WTF? ARE KIDDING ME? THIS IS YOUR OUTSTANDING UPDATED INFORMATION LOCATION THAT YOU COULDN'T CALL MSNBC OR FOX OR DANG SOMEONE BEFORE YOU SPOKE THE WORDS!!!!!!!!1 OUR TELEVISION STATION ARE OF THE UTMOST FUNNIEST UNLIKELY TO GET A STORY TRUE AND MAKES ME EMBARRASSED TO ACTUALLY TELL PEOPLE WHERE I'M FROM!!! WOW!!!! AND TO BOOT? I FOUND OUT THROUGH MY CABLE COMPANY THAT THE REASON WHY EVERYONE CABLES ARE GETTING HIGHER AND HIGHER IS BECAUSE WE HAVE TO PAY TO SEE TV OR THAT STATION! WTF? DO WHAT? SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME? WTVY HAS THREE TELEVISION STATIONS ME TV, CW CHANNEL AND CHANNEL 4 EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER HAS TO PAY ANYWHERE FROM 2.50 OR HIGHER PER BILL PER CUSTOMER, THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE WERE FORCED TO GO DIGITAL AND WE WERE ALLOWED TO GET A CONVERTER ACTUALLY THEY GAVE A COUPON FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME TO GET IT AND THAT IS A FREAKING JOKE OF ALL TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $2.50 MAY NOT SOUND LIKE A BAD DEAL BUT IF YOU ARE ON A FIXED INCOME AND DISABLED AND ALL YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE TO HAVE A OUTSIDE LIFE (YOUR CABLE) IT ADDS UP QUICK LIKE AND IT DOES I HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY I CAN USE TOWARDS BILLS AND I'M AT THE PICK, BUT TROY CABLE COME TO OUR AREA BOUGHT OUT THE LITTLE DOG AND THEY WERE TO BE UPDATED UPGRADED AND ALL NEW TECH, MY BUTT, IF YOU CALL WHEN THE WIND BLOWS THE RIGHT WAY AND CABLE IS GONE INTERNET IS GONE AND YOU A RINGING THAT NO ONE CAN HEAR NOR WILL THEY ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!! HAD TO VENT