3 hospitalized after helicopter crash in Otero County

Pilot says tail rotor may have caused crash

OTERO COUNTY, Colo. - Three people went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the helicopter they were riding in crashed in Otero County Tuesday.

The Otero County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting that the Front Range Pipeline helicopter had crashed on private property about three miles South of County Road AA and County Road 33.

Rescue workers from the sheriff’s office, the La Junta Rural Fire Department and the Colorado State Patrol found three people with minor injuries at the crash site.

The victims were taken to the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta.

The helicopter, which was heavily damaged in the crash, had been leased to SAM surveying and was doing survey work for a new Otero County pipeline when the crash happened. The pilot reported that the crash may have been related to a problem with the tail rotor that forced the 1982 Bell helicopter to spin into the ground.

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