Monday, January 31, 2011
The Pima County Sheriff's Department confirmed that of the four first reported injured in this morning's helicopter crash, civilian pilot Loren Leonberger was pronounced dead at the scene.
From the Pima County Sheriff's Department:
On January 31, 2011, at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter crashed near Waterman Road and Silverbell Road.
Sadly, Pima County Sheriff’s Department Civilian Pilot Loren Leonberger was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Mr. Leonberger spent his life serving his country flying helicopters for over forty years. In February 1969 he entered the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot from June 1970 thru June 1971 where he achieved the rank of Warrant Officer. Mr. Leonberger served as a pilot in the U.S. Army National Guard from January 1972 thru November 1991. In July 1978, he became an officer and a pilot with the AZ Department of Public Safety where he served for twenty years. In December 1998 he retired from the DPS Air Rescue Unit. Mr. Leonberger became a pilot with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 where he was employed until he joined the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in November 2008.
Mr. Leonberger leaves behind a wife and twelve siblings.
The three surviving passengers of the crash are at University Medical Center. The full extent of their injuries is unknown. Their names will be released pending notification to the families.