Tommy Lee Explains Helicopter Incident


February 15, 2009

Tommy Lee has cleared up reports police ordered his helicopter to land for flying “erratically” – insisting his pilot was trying to get a closer look at a building on fire. The Motley Crue drummer was a passenger in the aircraft when officials grounded it for coming “too close” to a Los Angeles police helicopter over Glendale, California on February 1.

But the star is adamant he wasn’t breaking any laws – and was instead just curious about a nearby home up in flames.

He says, “There was nothing scary about it. Motley Crue did a show in Palm Springs, out in the desert, and we were flying the helicopter back. This house was on fire about 30 minutes outside of Van Nuys airport, where we were going to land. So there was this house on fire, you could see all this smoke coming up. And I said, ‘F—! Let’s go over there and check it out.’ We flew close to the house to check it out, and apparently we got into the police’s airspace. But we were so far away from them. I still don’t understand. Like, there was no way we (were) that close.”

And Lee has also insisted his pilot, who was taken into custody for a blood alcohol test shortly after landing, only drank after touching down safely.

The star adds, “We were on the ground, and I had in my backpack a bottle of vodka mixed with lemonade. As soon as we landed my pilot, Dave, said, ‘Hey! Where’s that vodka?’ I grabbed it, and he takes two big giant sips straight out of the vodka bottle. Right when he was drinking it the cops walked out and said, ‘Who’s the pilot of that helicopter?’ And he’s like, ‘That would be me.’ So they thought he was drinking. But he doesn’t drink and fly – ever. That’s stupid. So that’s what the whole deal was. They gave him a sobriety test and all that. He’s like, ‘Guys, I just had two shots of vodka after we landed, now it’s a little late to be testing me, do you know what I mean?’ So that was it. No big deal.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly investigating the incident.

Courtesy of and