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Risking their own lives to rescue a downed pilot, police officers show the vital role they play in protecting communities


A California pilot was rescued from certain death after officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) pulled him from a damaged Cessna 172 aircraft seconds before a commuter train collided with his plane.

Quick Facts

On Sunday, the unidentified pilot had been forced to make an emergency landing on the Metrolink Antelope Valley rail tracks after an unexpected power failure. The amazing footage of the pilot’s rescue by LAPD officers was caught on body camera. The officers could be heard shouting “Go, go, go!” while running away to avoid contact with an approaching train. The pilot of the crashed aircraft was the only one on board and was quickly transported to a hospital.

The LAPD had this to say about the incident: “Foothill Division Officers displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks at San Fernando Rd and Osborne St, just before an oncoming train collided with the aircraft.” 

Thankfully, due to the officers’ swift actions, no other injuries were reported. Local officials have said Metrolink train service was halted and road traffic was detoured in the area about 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board have pledged to investigate the circumstances leading to the pilot’s emergency landing. According to Rick Breitenfeldt, spokesperson for the FAA, the pilot “had taken off from nearby Whiteman Airport before crashing.”

The Los Angeles County Public Works reported that the pilot suffered “minor injuries” as a result of the crash, and had been taken to a regional trauma center, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

LAPD’s Operations Valley Bureau said in a tweet that “the plane lost power and crashed onto tracks” near Whiteman Airport. Train and vehicle traffic in the vicinity of the incident has been restricted as the LAFD monitored for potential chemical spills and hazards.

The decisive and courageous action taken by law enforcement to rescue the pilot from an almost certain fatal accident shows why America’s law enforcement officers should be celebrated. This incredible story shines a light on the vital and largely unsung role that law enforcement plays in our community on a daily basis.

Sadly, over the several years, progressive activists have embarked on a series of “Defund the Police” campaigns, seeking to demonize the role that police officers play in our community today under the pretense of “racial equity” and “community mental health.”

To consider what the country would look like without the critical role of law enforcement, just take a look at urban centers such as Chicago and Minneapolis, where crime is rampant and on the rise. Unsurprisingly, these localities are overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, whose policies are being influenced more and more by hard-left progressive activists who think law enforcement is a tool of systemic racism in America and needs to be held in check.

However, the account of the California pilot’s harrowing rescue puts an exclamation point next to the reason why we, as Americans, should be grateful for the role of law enforcement in our communities rather than trying to “defund the police” or restrict their movements. After all, if the LAPD officers had not acted quickly and decisively, the unnamed pilot almost certainly would have lost his life when the oncoming train collided with the aircraft.

The push by the radical left to “Defund the Police” has become so broadly unpopular among their fellow Americans that even many establishment Democrats are backing away out of fear that it will hurt them at the ballot box. Instead of seeking to drag America’s police officers, firefighters, and other public servants dedicated to protecting our fellow citizens, we should be thanking and celebrating them — as the friends and family of the rescued California pilot most certainly will.

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