3 rescued after helicopter ices on Alaska volcano

ANCHORAGE — Two researchers and their pilot were rescued Friday from a remote Alaska volcano after freezing rain left thick ice on their helicopter’s blades.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the rescue came at about 5 p.m. Friday. The three were caught in a freezing rainstorm Wednesday evening.

Pilot Sam Egli, United States Geological Survey geophysicist John Paskievitch, and University of Alaska-Fairbanks researcher Taryn Lopez were not injured.

They were attempting to monitor volcano equipment when “the weather moved in,” Egli said. The work is part of an assignment to also repair permanent monitoring equipment on volcanoes in the area known as the Valley of 10,000 Smokes.

Freezing fog enveloped the research area and iced over the helicopter’s rotator blades.

“We were unable to produce enough lift to take off at that point,” Egli said. “The weather didn’t clear up after that.”

Without any means to heat the helicopter blades, the trio was stuck.

On Friday afternoon, a rescue helicopter lifted Egli and the researchers to safety. Peters said the helicopter remains on Mount Mageik, about 280 miles southwest of Anchorage at Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Asked how they passed the time for more than two days, Egli said “we just yakked.”

“There wasn’t anything to do,” he said. “We work together, we’ve got things in common, so we just talked about that.”

The three were well-equipped with survival gear and food. They remained in the helicopter until they were rescued.

More in Local News

Senate Democrats propose property tax cut with surge in revenue

The latest revenue forecast predicted $1.3 billion more in the next three years than anticipated.

Water to be shut down for up to 2 days for about 100 homes

The city of Everett plans to disable one of four pipelines next week while crews work on the system.

Northshore School District bond for new elementary now passing

As of Tuesday, the $275 million proposal was comfortably above the 60 percent supermajority.

“Compromised by deterioration,” Everett apartments condemned

The city says the conditions at Broadway Station Apartments were unsafe for tenants.

Clear, cold weather could give way midweek to chance of snow

A chance of lowland snow looms for Snohomish County by… Continue reading

Load up: Cheesecake Factory plans Lynnwood location

The chain restaurant is listed as a tenant in new development at Alderwood mall.

Everett appeals court’s ban on dress code for bikini baristas

The baristas say they seek to protect their civil rights. The case is on hold pending the appeal.

Lake Stevens girl wants to make sure her peers are well fed

Anneliese Ballou, 9, was named the first student ambassador by the Hungry Hearts Foundation.

Front Porch

EVENTS Snow goose festival coming up The Port Susan Snow Goose and… Continue reading

Most Read