3 hurt in N. Arizona helicopter crash

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - Authorities say three people suffered only minor injuries after a helicopter crashed in northern Arizona Wednesday morning.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the crash happened around 9:30 a.m. off Forest Service Road 171 about 12 miles northwest of Flagstaff.

First responders found four occupants with the downed aircraft, three of whom had minor injuries. Two of the passengers were complaining of shoulder pain and were air-lifted to the Flagstaff Medical Center. The pilot received minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital. A fourth person was uninjured.

So far deputies have learned the helicopter was rented by a private pilot and left from Mesa early this morning.

The occupants were headed to a shooting event being held at the C and C Ranch.

It's early in the investigation, but sheriff's authorities believe the pilot was in the process of landing, with the chopper about 20 feet above the ground, when it was struck by a gust of wind causing the pilot to lose control.

An investigation will be conducted by the FAA and NTSB, according to the sheriff's office.

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