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Aviation

Sightseeing helicopter crashes in Palmer with 2 passengers aboard

An Enstrom F-28 helicopter crashed on May 9, 2021 in Palmer after leaving from the state fairgrounds for a short sightseeing tour during an aviation tradeshow. Photo by Kay Bush

A sightseeing helicopter crashed Sunday afternoon near the state fairgrounds in Palmer, Alaska State Troopers said.

“The pilot and two passengers walked away with no observable injuries although the passengers were later transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center as a precaution,” troopers wrote in an online statement.

The small Enstrom F-28 helicopter operated by Talaheim Air Service had taken off from the fairgrounds and lost power during a sightseeing tour, troopers wrote. The pilot made an emergency landing in an empty field near Outer Springer Loop, and the helicopter was severely damaged, the statement said. Troopers were called to the scene just after 2:30 p.m.

An Enstrom F-28 helicopter crashed on May 9, 2021 in Palmer after leaving from the state fairgrounds for a short sightseeing tour during an aviation tradeshow. Photo by Kay Bush

One of the helicopter’s skids became stuck in the ground on landing; the helicopter rolled on its nose and the rotor cut the tail off, according to an accident notification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mark Miller, owner of Talaheim Air Service, said the company was offering short helicopter rides during the Alaska Airmen’s Association tradeshow on Sunday. The annual tradeshow features an aircraft show, a market, food trucks and numerous events and activities, according to the organization’s website.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the helicopter to lose power but Miller said an investigation is ongoing. He said he’s thankful everyone is safe.

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