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Air One had equipment failure

Fri., Oct. 22, 2010, midnight

Air One, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, made what was called a “precautionary landing” earlier this month when its hydraulic system failed.

Undersheriff Jeff Tower likened the situation to losing power steering in a car. He said Air One’s civilian pilots are trained to fly the aircraft without hydraulic assistance.

The helicopter had been on a paid mission for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Two Spokane County deputies were aboard as tactical officers.

Cpl. Dave Ellis, who runs the sheriff’s air support unit, said there have been no similar incidents.

Dispatcher Chad Hardy received an award this week that was based in part on his handling of radio communications during the incident.

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