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

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

Front Porch

EVENTS Snohomish man’s legacy The life and legacy of William Shelton, the… Continue reading

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Most Read