- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - Federal investigators have concluded that a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crashed last June because a maintenance worker left a rag inside the engine.

A National Transportation Safety Board report says investigators found enough cloth in the engine to have made it to stop working in mid-flight.

That’s what happened on June 25 during a post-maintenance test flight near Casa Grande. The $1.1 million aircraft was heavily damaged when it landed hard and rolled over.

The three people aboard escaped injury.

The Arizona Republic (https://bit.ly/1aEFcqx ) reports that the mechanic who left the rag in the engine was put on two days of unpaid leave.

The Sheriff’s Office is trying to replace the helicopter, possibly by augmenting the $750,000 insurance payout with the wrecked helicopter’s scrap value.

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