Pilot rescued after helicopter crash near Oso

OSO — A pilot was rescued Tuesday afternoon after his helicopter crashed north of Highway 530 near a logging operation.

Bystanders reportedly pulled the man from the wreckage, located near Larch Lake in Skagit County. Oso fire personnel reported that the man, believed to be in his 60s, was conscious. An update of his condition was not immediately available.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s helicopter crew lifted the man from the site. He was flown to a local hospital, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

No one else was believed to be onboard the Hughes helicopter.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office will handle the investigation along with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Federal records indicate that the helicopter is owned by Olympic Air Inc. out of Shelton, Wash.

A National Transportation Safety Board report indicates that the helicopter was damaged during a hard landing in 2003. In that incident, the helicopter ran out of gas mid-flight during a logging operation, forcing the pilot to land the aircraft on a dirt road. Investigators found that the helicopter’s fuel indicator and low fuel warning light had failed because of improperly secured equipment.

Federal records also show that the helicopter was involved in a crash in 1996, also during a logging operation. Investigators found that fuel had been contaminated.

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