A sky tour of Baltimore turned into a day at the races for a group of Estonian officials, including the Baltic country's ambassador to the United States, after the helicopter they were riding in made a precautionary landing on the infield at Pimlico Race Course because of mechanical problems.
The Maryland Army National Guard helicopter landed on the northern end of the infield at 1:45 p.m., about 20 minutes before post time for the afternoon's first race. None of the 10 Estonians or the three crew members were hurt, said Capt. Drew Sullins, a National Guard spokesman.
On the ground, Estonian Ambassador Sven Jurgensonand the other foreign visitors ate lunch at Pimlico's dining room and watched the first few races on the 10-race card, said Chris Helein, director of corporate and racing communications for the Maryland Jockey Club.
"They're making the best of the situation, and they seem to be having a good time," Helein said.
The sudden landing came after a warning light indicated a potential problem.