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Civilian Helicopter Crashes Near Borrego Springs

Three people suffered apparently minor injuries Monday afternoon when a charter helicopter made a hard landing in a remote desert area in the far eastern reaches of San Diego, authorities reported.

The four-seat Robinson R-44 went down for unknown reasons roughly three miles east of Borrego Springs Airport about 1:30 p.m., according to sheriff's officials and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Deputies had to search the barren terrain in the area by ground and air for a time before locating the downed aircraft, which is operated by a Palm Springs-based helicopter charter and tour company called Big Blue Air.

Medics took three of the four people who had been aboard the chopper to a hospital for evaluations, according to Cal Fire.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident, officials said..

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