Photo: Mark W. Clark

Photo: Mark W. Clark

A Mesa, Arizona police helicopter was forced to a hard landing while on patrol over the nearby community of Gilbert. Police report the pilot and observer were not injured.

The MD500 helicopter experienced an engine failure and landed in a small alfalfa field on some farming property near Harris Drive and Baseline Road, which is between Gilbert Road and Stapley Drive, Sgt. Tony Landato, a Mesa Police Department spokesman, told the Arizona Republic.

The tail section of the helicopter snapped off during the impact, he said. The two officers/pilots were not injured, and nobody else was injured. No structures were damaged.

"These pilots did an outstanding job, and we are very fortunate we are not reporting something more tragic," Landato said. "They had 10, 15 seconds from engine failure to impact. During that short time, they were able to navigate between structures to this small alfalfa field."

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