Unspecified equipment failure forced a pilot in a gyrocopter to land Saturday afternoon near the Granite Reef Dam northeast of Mesa.
Marvin Wessell called 911 for help, but was able to bring his aircraft down safely about one-quarter mile west of the dam on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Mesa firefighters and a helicopter were dispatched to the scene to assist.
Mesa fire Capt. Rick Apple said Wessell was not injured. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Detective Charles Scudella characterized the landing as “medium” or “just right.”
A gyrocopter, or autogyro, is an aircraft that uses an engine-powered propeller or a tow cable to help lift its helicopterlike rotor, which keeps the craft airborne.