Temsco helicopter crash in Skagway claims life of pilot

A Temsco helicopter crashed on a glacier in Skagway Friday night, claiming the life of the pilot who was dropping off supplies at a sled dog camp, Alaska State Troopers said.

 

Troopers on Saturday identified the pilot, the sole occupant on board, as 59-year-old Christopher Maggio, of Skagway. Next of kin has been notified.

According to an online dispatch, the helicopter crashed near the upper portion of Denver Glacier in Skagway. Troopers said they were made aware of the incident at 8:26 p.m. Friday by the U.S. Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau.

Speaking by cellphone Saturday, trooper spokesman Tim DeSpain said he believed the helicopter crashed after it had landed at one of the Temsco sled dog camps on the glacier, dropped off supplies and was headed back to Temsco. The cause of the crash is unknown, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been contacted.

Temsco Helicopters Inc. offers seasonal sled dog tours in two locations, on Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau and on Denver Glacier in Skagway, according to its website.

This marks the second helicopter crash in Southeast Alaska in two day’s time. An Era Helicopter pilot, identified as 39-year-old Jiri Hanis, crashed on Norris Glacier near Juneau Thursday after making a supply drop to the sled dog camp there. As of yesterday afternoon, Hanis was recovering from injuries in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Era suspended flights out of Juneau following Thursday’s crash.

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