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MESA, AZ (CBS5) -
A helicopter pilot walked away unharmed after he made an emergency landing in a Mesa neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
The man, who is in his 60s, was reportedly flying from Chandler to Falcon Field, according to Mesa Fire Department spokesman Forrest Smith.
The homemade helicopter landed safely next to a fire hydrant near Stapley and University.
"My heart's still pounding because you don't see that every day, like a car wreck, but it was worse than a car wreck, because every day you don't see a helicopter crash," said Victor Allinger Jr., a neighbor who called 911.
"You've got to put it down where you can and he did a good job, if he was three feet over he would've hit a fire hydrant, if he had been further up, he'd have gotten a blade in the palm tree and who knows what would've happened," said another neighbor, Dale Scott, who ran to help after the hard landing.
Smith said there was no explosion or fire when his crews arrived. He said many residents in the area witnessed the landing.
The pilot's name was not released.
"I knew he was going to crash, it was dying in the air like it wasn't getting fuel, it was sputtering," Allinger said. "He was going down, he was losing altitude really fast."
"He was having troubles and he made the circle to come around and come back down the street so he wouldn't hit a house, and he made it," Scott said.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.
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