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U.S. Border Patrol helicopter makes desert emergency landing

TUCSON, Ariz. - A pilot on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter escaped injury after an emergency landing in the desert between Douglas and Naco.

CBP officials say the helicopter from the Tucson Air Branch made an emergency landing near the Gravel Pit area east of Bisbee about 4 a.m. Monday.

They say the unidentified pilot was able to walk to a vehicle, but was taken to a medical facility for an evaluation. The pilot was the only person aboard.

The National Transportation Safety Board and CBP are investigating the cause of the emergency landing.

CBP's Office of Air and Marine uses Blackhawk helicopters for various Border Patrol operations, such as rescuing immigrants who are lost in the desert. They also are used to arrest suspected smugglers who are in remote areas.

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