Helicopter crashes west of Payson; 1 injured


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 9:54 PM

Map: Polles Mesa

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PAYSON, Ariz. – One person was injured when a helicopter crashed approximately 20 miles west of Payson Wednesday morning, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

One Arizona Public Service employee and five other people were on board the helicopter when it went down around 10 a.m. in the area of Polles Mesa in the Tonto National Forest, according to sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tim Scott.

Aerial video showed that the helicopter's tail appeared to be missing.

Scott said the area is not accessible by ground and an Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter responded to the location.

The pilot was the only person injured. He was airlifted to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The helicopter is a 1981 Bell 206 L-1 and is owned by a company in Louisiana. It was leased by APS.

The chartered helicopter was going from the Scottsdale Airpark to Flagstaff for an economic development mission.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.