Pilot Uninjured After Helicopter Crashes in Beaver Lake Near Whitefish

The aircraft was dipping water out of Beaver Lake to suppress a small fire when it crashed

By Beacon Staff
Julie Balch, with North Valley Search and Rescue, and a team with the Flathead County Search and Rescue attempt on Aug. 5, 2015, to locate a helicopter that crashed into Beaver Lake near Whitefish. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

A small single-engine helicopter crashed into Beaver Lake northwest of Whitefish and the pilot escaped uninjured, according to authorities.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said the helicopter was piloted by former Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White. The incident was reported Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m.

White, who is executive director of Two Bear Air, was the sole occupant of the helicopter and was able to exit the aircraft as it sank. The aircraft had been dipping water out of Beaver Lake to place on a small fire on private property that was reported earlier in the day, Curry said. A small brush fire was reported near Lion Mountain Tuesday afternoon. White works for Mike Goguen, a venture capitalist and philanthropist who lives in the area and funds Two Bear Air.

A boat from the sheriff’s office was deployed to attempt to contain any possible fuel leakage, but none could be found, Curry said.

The Flathead County Sheriff Dive Rescue Team will attempt to locate and recover the aircraft Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

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