Helicopter crashes in wilderness area east of Ketchikan

Posted: Sunday, September 01, 2002

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Two people are dead after a helicopter crashed into a lake 30 miles east of Ketchikan, Alaska State Troopers said.

The helicopter, a Roberts 44 Rotocraft, was discovered Thursday afternoon upside down in Winstanley Lakes in Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness.

The victims' identities were not being released until relatives could be notified, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said the chartered flight with two people aboard apparently left from Ketchikan. The destination was not known.

The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to the scene and confirmed two fatalities. The bodies of the pilot and the passenger were strapped into the helicopter, which was floating upside down.

Efforts to recover the bodies Friday were hampered by bad weather. Wilkinson said it was raining at the crash site and the cloud cover reached the ground.

Troopers would try again Saturday if visibility improved, he said.

It was not yet known when the crash occurred, said trooper Shane Nicholson. He said it could have happened Wednesday night or sometime Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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