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HeliTorque :: View topic - Chopper Goes Down Fighting Drake Fire
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Flight Safety

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Chopper Goes Down Fighting Drake Fire
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:01 am    Post subject: Chopper Goes Down Fighting Drake Fire Reply with quote

Chopper Goes Down Fighting Drake Fire
Pilot Treated, Released Following Crash

DRAKE, Colo. -- A helicopter fighting the Drake Fire crashed in the Big Thompson Canyon Tuesday afternoon and the pilot survived.

The crash was reported at about 3:27 p.m., according to Larry Helmerick with the U.S. Forest Service.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the crash site off Highway 34 in Larimer County. The pilot was walking around the crashed chopper when rescue crews arrived, according to Elouise Campanella with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. He was airlifted to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins where he was treated and released. His name was not immediately released.

The McDonnell Douglas 530-F is owned by Utility Aviation of Fort Collins.

Wreckage of the chopper showed that it broke into at least two pieces and ended up on its side. The crashed in an area already burned by the fire.

The wildfire has been burning since the weekend and has burned 14 acres. It was 75 percent contained Tuesday morning.

Drake is located east of Estes Park, Colo.

In July 2002 a firefighting helicopter crashed while fighting the Big Elk Fire of Highway 36 in Larimer County, killing the pilot. That accident happened just a few weeks after a PB4Y air tanker went down fighting the same fire. Two pilots died in the tanker crash.
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