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California man who jumped from helicopter had health problems, brother says

The brother of a man who died after jumping off a helicopter that was flying 500 feet above the California coast Tuesday said his sibling may have committed suicide because of a chronic health condition he had for the past 15 years.

Brad McFadden told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his 61-year-old brother Greg was only able to get a few hours of sleep each night due to an esophageal disorder. Greg McFadden was hoping to get a surgery to fix the problem, but it was repeatedly delayed.

Orange County coroner officials say Gregory McFadden jumped from the helicopter Tuesday, falling into the ocean near the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach. He was taken to shore by lifeguards and later died at a hospital.

Chuck Street, a longtime helicopter pilot and local traffic reporter, told the Los Angeles Times his son, Corbin, was flying the helicopter. He said the man apparently booked a 30-minute tour for two people but showed up alone.

Street, who owns the tour company, said he was shocked by what happened.

"It's the last thing I ever thought would happen to my son," Street said.

Police say they are investigating the death as a suicide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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