Sept. 10, Juneau, Alaska / Three Eurocopter AS-350B-2 helicopters


At about 12:04 ADT, a Eurocopter helicopter struck the Juneau ice field about 16 miles north of Juneau. The sightseeing flight was being operated as a Part 135 flight. Five of the occupants had minor injuries; the other passenger was seriously injured. The pilot said he was attempting to return to the Juneau airport after completion of an ice field sightseeing tour flight when the lack of surface features and light snow caused a disorientation that led to him flying into the ground. Three other company helicopters began searching for the first one, and one of them crashed, with the two occupants uninjured. A third company helicopter was dispatched to the crash of the second, and it picked up the two occupants of the second helicopter and resumed the search. It too crashed into the ice field. The passengers, pilot and rescue crews remained at the site overnight and were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter the next morning.


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