NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) - First responders rushed to Nogales International Airport after a plane had trouble during takeoff Saturday afternoon.
A small plane landed hard shortly after takeoff, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada.
Four people, three male and one female, were on board, according to Fire Chief Carlos Parra Jr., with Nogales Suburban Fire District.
He said four helicopters were requested for all four passengers, who were strapped in and needed to be pulled out.
The pilot, a 57-year-old man, suffered the most injuries to his head, according to Estrada. He said the the pilot, a 57-year-old woman, a student pilot and an unknown fourth person were on their way home to California.
Parra said he learned that the plane left Nogales International Airport and lost altitude because of engine problems. He said the plane grazed the top of a hillside on the way down.
The four patients were hurt badly, but expected to survive, according to Parra. He said they were airlifted to Banner UMC. As of 7 p.m. Saturday, all four were still in the hospital, according to Estrada.
First responders from Nogales Suburban Fire District, Rio Rico Medical & Fire District, Tubac Fire District, Patagonia Marshal's Office, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office and the US Border Patrol all responded to the crash.
The cause of the crash is under investigation