FLAGSTAFF -- Coconino County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating a helicopter crash that occurred at about 9:30 Wednesday morning about 12 miles northwest of Flagstaff off of Forest Service Road 171. Emergency first responders found four occupants of the downed aircraft, three that suffered minor injuries. Guardian Medical Transport took two passengers who were both complaining of shoulder pain to the Flagstaff Medical Center. The fourth occupant was uninjured.
Deputies have learned that the aircraft was rented by a private pilot and departed from an airport in Mesa.The occupants were headed to a shooting event being held at the C and C Ranch. Deputies are investigating the possibility that the pilot was in the process of landing with the aircraft positioned approximately 20 feet above the ground when it was struck by a gust of wind causing the pilot to lose control. An on-scene Coconino County Sheriff's sergeant conducted a conference call with officials of the FAA and the NTSB to inform them of what he believed occurred.