Alaska News

Helicopter pilot dies in crash in Skagway

A pilot for a Southeast Alaska charter and flightseeing company was killed when the helicopter he was flying crashed near a glacier in Skagway on Friday while he was returning from a dog camp operated by the company, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers identified the pilot as 59-year-old Christopher Maggio of Skagway. The Skagway Fire Department recovered his body from the crash site Saturday afternoon.

No one else was on board. The crash occurred near the upper portion of Denver Glacier, east of town, troopers said.

Maggio worked for Temsco Helicopters, which offers a helicopter tour from Skagway that includes dog sledding from the camp on Denver Glacier, according to the company's website.

"The entire Temsco family is deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers go to the family and loved ones of our pilot," said Joe Hicks, Temsco's senior vice president.

Maggio was reported overdue from a noncommercial flight at 7 p.m. on Friday after dropping off supplies, the company said. The first responder was another Temsco helicopter launched at 7:12 p.m. from the company's base in Skagway.

"At 8 p.m. the aircraft was located and the U.S. Coast Guard was notified," Temsco's statement said. "Rescue efforts were then coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard and local fire and rescue teams."


The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident. Temsco's statement said it "will not speculate or release any details regarding the cause of the incident until authorized to do so by the NTSB."

Another helicopter crashed in Southeast Alaska the day before. On Thursday, an Era helicopter crashed on Norris Glacier northeast of Juneau, injuring the lone occupant, Jiri Hanis, 39.

That crash happened near a sled dog camp where tours are provided by Alaska Heli-Mush, said owner and Iditarod musher Linwood Fiedler. Helping with that response, Temsco landed a helicopter near the site of the crash and flew the pilot to Juneau's Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or