Sightseeing tour survive helicopter crash in Palmer

A sightseeing tour survived a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon in Palmer, Alaska.
A sightseeing tour survived a helicopter crash Sunday afternoon in Palmer, Alaska.(Alaska State Troopers)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 7:26 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Three people walked away safely from a Sunday afternoon helicopter crash in Palmer, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

“Thankfully, there were no serious injuries here, so that’s a win,” said Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska Regional Office. “Initial reports would indicate there was a mechanical issue.”

A Sunday night trooper dispatch said the helicopter pilot made a successful emergency landing in an empty field near the Outer Springer Loop and Kaye Marie Lane intersection. Troopers said the pilot and two passengers had no visible injuries, but they were transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center as a precaution.

Upon the initial investigation, troopers said at around 2:30 p.m. the Enstrom F-28F helicopter, operated by Talaheim Air Service, lost power midair during a sightseeing tour from the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer. Johnson said the tour ride was a part of the annual Great Alaska Aviation Gathering event.

The helicopter suffered major damage during the landing. A National Transportation Safety Board notice report said the helicopter had to auto-rotate to the ground. Upon impact, one of the skids became stuck in the ground, causing the helicopter to roll onto its nose and the rotor to cut the tail off.

“We’re not sure if this was a loss of power to the motor system or a loss of engine power. We don’t know yet.” Johnson said. “We’re going to take a look at the machine to see if we can figure out what happened.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB have been notified of the crash.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

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Editor’s note: The article was updated to include additional information.