PHOENIX (AP) — Investigators say a helicopter that crashed last month while delivering supplies to firefighters in a remote area of the Tonto National Forest was wobbling in mid-air before it went down, killing the pilot.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report Tuesday on the July 7 crash as the agency tries to determine a probable cause.
Authorities say 37-year-old Bryan Boatman of Glendale was the only person aboard the helicopter that went down about 10 miles west of Payson.
The helicopter was transporting supplies using a long line for a hotshot firefighting crew on the ground.
The pilot transported three supply loads with no problems.
But on the fourth load, witnesses say the helicopter began to fly erratically and then descended rapidly.