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Three killed after helicopter crashes in Swiss Alps

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Three killed after helicopter crashes in Swiss Alps

Old 2nd Apr 2024, 19:15
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Three killed after helicopter crashes in Swiss Alps

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-in-swiss-alps
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 19:37
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Was a heliski operation. Something went wrong during landing.
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 21:34
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I hope that is not type related! In italian accident somebody already has conclusion that AW139 is not foe mountain operations!
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Old 2nd Apr 2024, 22:34
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https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/382298
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 02:41
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Don't know the aircraft capabilities, six folk on board landing at 12,034 feet, doable?
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 04:56
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Originally Posted by megan
Don't know the aircraft capabilities, six folk on board landing at 12,034 feet, doable?
Yes. Otherwise that place would be littered with helicopter wrecks. You can‘t just land anywhere in the Swiss Alps. These are official landing spots and used quite a bit.
And they aren‘t complete morons. W & B is also a thing there.
But Switzerland has a bit of a bad streak. That is the 5th accident in 2024. But the first with fatalities.
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 13:32
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Originally Posted by 206Fan
RIP the deceased 3, and speedy recovery to the remaining 3..

Btw reading the link, noticed the same a/c was involved in an incident

'Other occurrences involving this aircraft
11 March 2019 HB-ZCZ Air-Glaciers 0 Barrage de Tseuzier, 5 km nord-ouest de Crans-Montana min Collision with pole or wires'

cheers
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Old 3rd Apr 2024, 16:54
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Originally Posted by Rotorbee
But Switzerland has a bit of a bad streak. That is the 5th accident in 2024. But the first with fatalities.
The 6th (in a month and a half) with today's crash of a Kaman K-Max (HB-ZXY) in Germany.
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Old 4th Apr 2024, 05:08
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The 6th (in a month and a half) with today's crash of a Kaman K-Max (HB-ZXY) in Germany.
It's getting hard to keep track, having to sleep once in a while.
Correct me if I am wrong, but has Rotex crashed 5 K-Max by now? One wonders.
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Old 4th Apr 2024, 06:24
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Originally Posted by Rotorbee
Correct me if I am wrong, but has Rotex crashed 5 K-Max by now? One wonders.
No, but with the help of Eagle Helicopter and Helog, the number 5 seems to be reached !
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Old 4th Apr 2024, 09:20
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Sounds like the survivors had a lucky escape:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-ne...lides-off-alp/

It's behind a paywall but the paper is reporting that a locally-based English guy in his late 60s; had the foresight to push two young English guys out of the door as the helicopter began to slide. He ended up down a crevasse and was located by his avalanche transceiver. The two lads ended up sliding down the mountain in the avalanche but were rescued.
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Old 4th Apr 2024, 09:39
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British skier falls down crevasse as helicopter slides off mountain
Avalanche kills three but Edward Courage, of the breweryfamily, rescued after five hours

Three British skiers survived an avalanche, and one a 30m fall down a crevasse, after their helicopter crashed and slid down the Swiss Alps, killing three people.

One of the Britons, Edward Courage, is thought to have saved the lives of young brothers Teddy and Guy Hitchens, also believed to be from Britain, by pushing them out of the stricken aircraft as it slid off the summit.

Mr Courage, based in Verbier, was among six people, including the pilot and a mountain guide, who were travelling on board an Air-Glaciers B3-type helicopter. They were due to be dropped off at the top of the Petit Combin mountain near Verbier on Tuesday morning.

Conditions were described as “perfect powder”, “sunshine” and “bluebird”, with “no wind – although there may have been gusts”.

Valais canton police said: “Having reached the summit of a mountain culminating at 3,668m above sea level, for a reason that the investigation will have to determine, the aircraft slid down the northern slope.”

Photos taken after the crash show marks on the mountainside apparently where the helicopter tumbled down. Other skiers reported that the helicopter was then consumed by the avalanche. Debris remained at the scene. There were no ski tracks from the missing helicopter, which concerned other guides at the time.


The pilot, local father-of-two Jerome Lovey, died in the crash, along with young skier James Goff and their guide Adam George, originally from New Hampshire in the United States.

A skier who arrived at the summit shortly after said: “We landed after them on the south side of Le Petit Combin and saw the avalanche. It was horrific. We couldn’t make out the helicopter, it was consumed in the avalanche. We heard of the crash over the radio. We were advised to get safely off the mountain.”

Seven rescue helicopters were swiftly dispatched to search for survivors. “Two injured people were quickly treated before being airlifted to Sion Hospital, and a third person was subsequently rescued,” according to police.

Mr Courage, who is in his sixties and part of the Courage brewery family, plunged an estimated 500m down a near vertical slope. He was swept by the avalanche and then fell 30m into a crevasse.

He and the two other Britons survived. The Hitchens brothers ended up close to each other despite falling a long way after the helicopter crash.

The impact imprint of the helicopter can be seen on the mountain (ringed)


While emergency services swiftly recovered the brothers from under the snow, Mr Courage was stranded on a ledge in the crevasse for five hours before he was located thanks to a transceiver and winched up to safety.

Mr Courage, a figure in Verbier’s English-speaking church community, is reportedly undergoing operations, having suffered broken bones. Two people remain in hospital. Teddy has been released.

Gilbert Crettaz, director of Adrenaline Heliski in Verbier, who has been a mountain guide in the Alps for 25 years, said: “This is the 3,672m peak you can see from Verbier, just to the right of its big sibling, the Grand Combin – what you are looking at is the steep north face. There are many different routes down and all require an advanced level of skiing. It’s a 2,000m descent.”

Those who knew him said Mr George was a highly experienced and trusted guide who has scaled El Capitan many times, along with other difficult climbs such as the North face of the Eiger.

Mountain guide Adam George was killed in the helicopter crash at Petit Combin


British explorer Tom Avery, CEO of Ski Verbier Exclusive, said: “The Petit Combin (3,672m peak) is a classic Verbier heliski route and Adam George is a much respected and loved local guide. It is a devastating loss to all the community.”

A donations group has been set up for Adam’s wife Caroline George-Ware and daughter Olivia. Adam’s funeral will be held next week.

Mrs George-Ware, co-founder of their guiding company Into the Mountains, said: “We had our first date on a climb and got engaged on a summit.”

The pilot, Mr Lovey, was also an instructor and had been working full-time for Air-Glaciers since September 2022.

It comes as three people were killed on Monday by an avalanche at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Zermatt.

Police on Wednesday said that one of the dead was a young Canadian woman. The avalanche also claimed the lives of a 15-year-old teenager and a 58-year-old Swiss man.

Valais canton police added there may be another skier under the snow after the disappearance of a 30-year-old man was reported on Tuesday.

Around 17 people have lost their lives in avalanches in Switzerland since Oct 1 last year.

An investigation has been opened by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office (MPC), which is responsible for aviation accidents. A safety investigation has also been launched by the SESE (Swiss Safety Investigation Service).












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Old 11th Apr 2024, 16:20
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Anyone heard more about causes of this crash? Was it mechanical failure?
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