Two Utah peace officers escaped serious injury Friday morning when the helicopter in which they were conducting routine marijuana surveillance crash-landed about 25 miles west of Duchesne.
Gary Whitney, public information officer of the Utah Department of Public Safety, said the helicopter toppled into a stand of trees when it hit a down draft."The wind just shoved it into the ground at about 15 mph," he said.
The two-passenger helicopter is lightweight and does not have a very powerful engine, Whitney said.
The pilot, Highway Patrol Sgt. Doyle Thorne, suffered a scratch to his hand. Sgt. Jerry Foote of the Duchesne County Sheriff's Department received scrapes. Neither sought medical attention, Whitney said.
The helicopter was extensively damaged, but officials have not determined if it is a total loss, Whitney said.
Whitney said the Army surplus TH55 helicopter was one of three Utah law enforcement agencies purchased last September.