Helicopter crashes east of Borrego Springs

BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. – A civilian helicopter crashed in the desert east of Borrego Springs Monday afternoon, but all four people on board survived with minor injures, authorities said.

The four-seat Robinson R-44 crashed north of Borrego Air Ranch Airport about 1:30 p.m., according to sheriff’s officials.

The pilot called authorities to say four people were aboard the aircraft when it went down and had minor injuries, a sheriff’s lieutenant said. The helicopter is believed to be a charter aircraft operated  by Big Blue Air out of Palm Springs, according to Lt. Amber Baggs.

The crew of a sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter radioed shortly before 2:30 p.m. that they had located the helicopter in Borrego Sink Wash and that it was on its side in several pieces.

When sheriff’s deputies and a rescue crews from Cal Fire reached the crash site, which is about 18 miles from Borrego Springs by road, they called for air ambulances to evacuate three injured people.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.