Helicopter Crashes in Jewel Basin, No Injuries Reported

By Beacon Staff

A private helicopter that was ferrying two Flathead County employees crashed on the backside of Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin.

According to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry, there were no injuries reported among the passengers. The county employees were on board to do some work on the radio repeater site located on the mountain.

The helicopter lost directional control during the flight, Curry said, and the pilot – who has 16 years and over 5000 hours of flight experience including extensive mountain flying in similar conditions – was unable to regain control, prompting an emergency landing.

The chopper, from Two Bears Aviation, hit a snowfield “pretty hard” and rolled onto its side at about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Curry said.

“They were just flying over looking for a good spot to land,” Curry said.

A helicopter from Red Eagle Aviation was able to fly up and pick up the stranded passengers.

The helicopter participates in a public/private philanthropic partnership with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident has been turned over to the FAA and NTSB for further investigation.

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