Pilot, passenger escape after helicopter crashes into Lake Havasu

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A helicopter lost altitude and the skids made contact with the water, causing the aircraft to flip upside down into the water. By Jennifer Thomas A helicopter lost altitude and the skids made contact with the water, causing the aircraft to flip upside down into the water. By Jennifer Thomas

MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. -- Two people escaped uninjured after a helicopter lost altitude and crashed into Lake Havasu Saturday afternoon.

Mohave County Sheriff's Office waterway deputies were dispatched to an area southeast of Copper Canyon and observed the sunken helicopter.

The helicopter was piloted by Michael Robert Christiansen, 40, of Phoenix. His passenger, Michael Rabo, had been taking photos of a watercraft on the lake.

According to the sheriff's office, Rabo had finished taking pictures and Christiansen turned the helicopter around to head southbound. After completing the turn, the helicopter lost altitude and the skids made contact with the water, causing the aircraft to flip upside down into the water.

Christiansen and Rabo freed themselves and were rescued by a boater in the area.

The wreckage was recovered.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and the investigation is ongoing.