Helicopter leased by APS makes hard landing with 6 aboard - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

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Helicopter leased by APS makes hard landing with 6 aboard

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The helicopter went down in the area of Polles Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News) The helicopter went down in the area of Polles Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The crash site is in the Mazatzal Wilderness area. (Source: CBS 5 News) The crash site is in the Mazatzal Wilderness area. (Source: CBS 5 News)
There is no access to the area by vehicle. (Source: CBS 5 News) There is no access to the area by vehicle. (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PAYSON, AZ (CBS5) -

A helicopter leased by Arizona Public Service and headed for Flagstaff made an emergency landing in a remote area of the Tonto National Forest on Wednesday morning, injuring the pilot.

The Gila County Sheriff's Office said the report came at 10:13 a.m. of an aircraft down approximately 12 miles west of Payson.

GPS coordinates showed the hard landing was in the area of Polles Mesa in the Mazatzal Wilderness area.

Six people, including one APS employee, were on board, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

According to DPS, the pilot was the only one hurt.

He suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn Hospital.

The remaining passengers were flown from the scene on another contracted helicopter. 

The downed helicopter, a 1981 Bell 206 L-1, left Scottsdale Airpark at about 9 a.m. and was headed to Flagstaff when the crash occurred, Damon Gross of APS said.

Authorities said there was no access to the area by vehicle, so a DPS air rescue helicopter out of Phoenix responded.

The pilot of the downed chopper told DPS his aircraft experienced power failure and he was forced to make an emergency landing.

"I think he (pilot) did an excellent job for only the injuries he suffered," said DPS Phoenix Ranger pilot Clifford Brunsting. "The five people (passengers) were perfectly fine. The aircraft is damaged extensively. But, for anybody to walk away from an accident like that or hard landing, it's very fortunate, very good."

Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating this accident with the NTSB as the lead investigative agency.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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