Mesa police helicopter crashes during patrol; radio call released


by 3TV

Posted on June 8, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 11:56 AM

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GILBERT, Ariz. -- A Mesa Police Department helicopter crashed after its engine failed on Sunday morning, according to Sgt. Tony Landato with the Mesa Police Department.

The two pilot police officers who were on board were not injured.

The MD500 went down at approximately 12:55 a.m. in a field in Gilbert near Baseline Road and Stapley Drive.

The tail section of the helicopter snapped off during impact.

"Other than knowing that it was a complete engine failure I don't know what caused that," Landato said. "Obviously, these things can happen from time to time. We've never experienced one before, but that's certainly something the FAA and the NTSB will be looking into."

Landato said the officers had 10 to 15 seconds from the time the engine failed to when the helicopter hit the ground.

"Luckily they were in an area of the city where they found a very small patch of alfalfa," Landato said. "They were able to have it land there rather hard and actually snapped off the tail end of the aircraft."

During that short time, they were able to navigate between structures to a small alfalfa field on some farming property.

No people on the ground were injured and no structures were damaged.