The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Editor, Valdez Star 

Rough landing: helicopter loses power after takeoff

No injuries or damage to the airport runway reported after incident


Valdez Star photo

Clean up efforts were underway before noon Monday after a locally-ran helicopter plummeted from the sky after takeoff.

No injuries were reported Wednesday morning after a helicopter crash-landed at the local airport.

Copper Valley Electric Association reported that two of its employees were on board the helicopter, operated by Vertical Solutions, a locally owned helicopter service.

Valdez businessman Mike Williams, one of the company's owners, said preliminary evidence available late Wednesday morning suggested the helicopter experienced an "unanticipated loss of power" and that it appeared to be a total loss.

There was no visible evidence of fire.

" Earlier this morning, Wednesday, December 16, two CVEA employees were involved in a helicopter crash at the Valdez Airport as they were taking off to perform an aerial patrol of the transmission line," CVEA spokeswoman Sharon Crisp said in a press release. "At roughly 9:30 a.m., as the helicopter that was contracted to take them on patrol reached approximately 75 feet in altitude, the helicopter lost power resulting in the aircraft free-falling to the ground. The crash resulted in the tail section separating from the aircraft."

Allie Hendrickson, the city's public information officer, also issued a press release.

"A bystander called Valdez Police and Fire Dispatch to report the incident involving a Vertical Solutions aircraft," the city's press release said. "No EMS/Fire assistance requested or appeared to be needed. Police officer dispatched to ensure scene safety and confirm report of the incident. No reported injuries. No reported damage to airport property or tarmac. No reported impact to aircraft traffic at the airport."


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