Photos: Air transport helicopter crash-lands, injuring all aboard

All four crewmembers were injured — two of them seriously — when the Airbus AS350 tried to land in windy conditions at the Christmas Valley Airport

By Leila Merrill

CHRISTMAS VALLEY, Ore. — Four crewmembers were injured – two of them seriously – when an AirLink helicopter crash-landed Wednesday evening at the Christmas Valley Airport.

National Transportation Safety Board Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson told News Channel 21 that the helicopter was arriving in windy conditions to pick up a patient but it "landed hard, and the helicopter rolled and was substantially damaged."

Two pilots and two medical crewmembers were aboard when the incident occurred.

In its initial report, the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that the 3-year-old helicopter "crashed under unknown circumstances attempting to land and became inverted."

Sheriff's Deputy and Emergency Services Manager Daniel Tague said La Pine and Crescent fire agencies sent ambulances to transport patients to Bend, a nearby city. At least one patient was transported by ambulance to a landing zone at Fort Rock, where a Life Flight helicopter reportedly landed to assist.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the helicopter was an Airbus AS350. The NTSB will lead a joint investigation with the FAA.


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