2 people in helicopter survive ‘hard landing’ in desert north of Mesa
PHOENIX – Two people aboard a small helicopter survived a “hard landing” Monday morning in a desert area of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, authorities said.
The occupants avoided serious injury and were able to walk away from the scene near State Route 87 (Beeline Highway) and Gilbert Road, the Salt River Police Department.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a Robinson R22 helicopter went down approximately 4.5 miles north of Mesa’s Falcon Field.
The Salt River police and fire departments responded to the scene around 8:25 a.m.
The FAA initially reported the incident as a crash, but police later released a media update calling it a “hard landing.”
TV news helicopter footage showed what appeared to be smoldering wreckage in a desert area.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.
The Robinson R22 is a two-seat helicopter used for flight training, livestock management and personal transportation, according to the manufacturer’s website.