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Helicopter Crashes; Pilot, Passenger Hurt

A Lind, Wash., man and his passenger escaped with minor injuries Wednesday after their helicopter crashed about 15 miles southeast of Sprague.

William G. Loomis, who turns 73 next week, and Brad Schaeffer, 34, were flying west from St. John around 9:45 a.m. when the engine failed, forcing them to make an abrupt landing in a freshly cultivated field east of Lamont, the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office said.

Loomis was flown in a medical helicopter to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane while Schaeffer was transported by ambulance. Details of their injuries were unavailable, but the sheriff’s office said they were minor. Both men were listed in satisfactory condition late Wednesday.

The helicopter, a two-passenger Hughes 269C, was destroyed, said sheriff’s Chaplain Ben Benthien.

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