BAGHDAD, March 1 (Reuters) - A U.S. helicopter made a "hard landing" in northern Iraq on Thursday, and initial reports said the cause was a mechanical problem, not hostile fire, the military said in a statement.
Two pilots on board the U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa helicopter were injured and had been evacuated, the statement added.
Residents in the area said they had seen the helicopter hit wires south of the city of Kirkuk.
A hard landing generally describes an emergency landing, but not a crash.
Insurgents have shot down eight helicopters since Jan. 20 in Iraq, killing a total of 28 people, mostly soldiers. Six of those helicopters were U.S. military aircraft and two belonged to a private American security firm.
The spate of successful attacks on helicopters has raised questions about whether insurgents were using new tactics, such as studying aircraft flight patterns.
U.S. commanders have said one reason they believe insurgents have focused on helicopters was to try to undermine a security crackdown in Baghdad that began last month.