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Engine failure causes Mesa PD helicopter crash in Gilbert

PHOENIX — A helicopter belonging to the Mesa Police Department experienced an engine failure early Sunday morning and crashed into a field in the nearby town of Gilbert, Ariz.

Mesa Sgt. Tony Landato said the engine failure occurred in an MD500 helicopter just before 1 a.m. He said there were two pilot-officers on board, but both were uninjured after the aircraft hard impact landed just south of Harris Drive and Baseline Road into an alfalfa field on a resident’s farming property.

The two officers were 90 minutes into a patrol shift near the Gilbert-Mesa border when the helicopter’s engine failed, Landato said.

Landato said the tail section of the rotorcraft snapped off during impact.

“These pilots did an outstanding job and we are very fortunate we are not reporting something more tragic,” the sergeant said.

Landato said the two officers had 10-15 seconds between engine failure and impact.

He said no civilians or structures were injured or damaged in the crash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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