Helicopter crashes in northern Alaska; no one injured

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A private helicopter carrying a pilot and two geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey crashed in northern Alaska but all escaped injury.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the helicopter landed hard and tipped on its side Wednesday near the Dalton Highway about 17 miles north of Coldfoot.

The Robinson 44 helicopter is owned by Fairbanks-based Quicksilver Air. The geologists were flying north to examine a mile-long “frozen debris lobe” that has slid toward the highway.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Chris Shaver says the pilot was looking for a landing site and noticed the helicopter doing an “uncommanded descent.”

Shaver says the pilot tried to add power to pull up but decided it would be safer to descend from about 50 feet.

The helicopter has been recovered.

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