Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 22, 2014 at 10:06 PM | Page modified July 22, 2014 at 11:06 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments
  • Print

Pilot hurt in copter crash near Oso

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed as it was lifting cedar blocks during a logging operation north of Oso on Tuesday was “conscious and talking” after the accident, according to the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office.


Seattle Times staff reporter

advertising

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed as it was lifting cedar blocks during a logging operation Tuesday was “conscious and talking” after the accident, according to the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office.

The full extent of the 63-year-old man’s injuries was not immediately known, but sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Chris Kading said the pilot, who was reported to be experienced, was alert when rescuers arrived at the crash site near Larch Lake, north of Oso.

The helicopter, a Hughes 369D, crashed shortly after takeoff, Kading said.

One report from the Sheriff’s Office indicated that the helicopter’s tail may have clipped a logging cable, but Kading said there were no cables in the area.

The cause of the accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB,) according to a spokesman for the FAA.

According to NTSB records, the helicopter is registered to Olympic Air of Shelton.

A man who answered the phone at Olympic Air on Tuesday declined to comment. According to its website, the company has been providing helicopter services in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years.

NTSB records show that the helicopter had been in two previous, separate, nonfatal accidents.

The first accident occurred on Nov. 16, 1996, in Forks, when the chopper lost engine power during a logging operation and hit some trees while making an the emergency landing, the report says.

The cause of the crash, which left one person seriously injured, was determined to be a loss of engine power caused by fuel contamination that disrupted the flow from the fuel nozzles, the report says.

The NTSB determined that improper servicing of the helicopter contributed to the accident, records show.

The second accident, which caused minor injuries to one person, occurred after the helicopter had been involved in logging operations for about an hour in Taholah, Grays Harbor County, on April 7, 2003.

Investigators determined the helicopter had run out of gas and that the float, which shows how much fuel is in the tank, had become entangled in start-pump wiring that had not been properly secured, records show.

Jeff Jones, an attorney specializing in aviation litigation, said it’s too early to know what, if anything, the number of crashes means.

“Helicopter logging in the Northwest has historically been, and continues to be, a dangerous activity. The fact that this helicopter has previously been involved in at least two crashes could be an indication of a problem with the aircraft or maintenance,” Jones said.

“However, it also could simply be a function of the length of time the aircraft has been in service and the workload to which it has been subjected. At this stage, without more information, it is impossible to determine what occurred in this crash.”

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com. Seattle Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed to this report.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Local News

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Tell us about your goals and challenges and be considered for a future NWjobs career-makeover story, as well as a chance to win an iPad Mini!

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►