It's not every day you see a horse fly.

A helicopter flew Colorado the horse to safety after he spent five days stranded on a sandbar on the Gila River about 36 miles southwest of Phoenix.

The river's swift-moving current prevented an earlier rescue and the horse was trapped on the sandbar with a few bushes and trees to munch on. His rider was one of three people rescued after they tried to ride in the river Friday.

The horse was prepped for the flight Tuesday using a tranquilizer before being placed in a harness with blinders on.

Once he was airborne, Colorado flew effortlessly and never bucked. A crowded awaited his arrival on the river bank after he was flown about a half mile.

Anonymous donors paid for the rescue.