- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

TOMBSTONE, Ariz. (AP) - A pilot and Cochise County Sheriff’s officer have escaped injury after the helicopter they were in landed in the southern Arizona desert without a rear rotor.

County officials say the helicopter touched down southwest of Tombstone near the Old Bisbee Highway shortly after 11 a.m. Friday.

They commended “the skill and expertise” of pilot Larry Pucci, who was able to safely land the chopper.

Sheriff’s officials later released two photos of the white-and-blue helicopter that was undamaged but missing its rear rotor.

They say it’s unclear what happened to the rotor and the incident is being investigated.

The helicopter had taken off from the Sierra Vista airport to survey areas of the county before the rotor problem occurred.

Sheriff’s officials say the department will get a replacement helicopter by Saturday.

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