Makeshift landing pad eyed in fatal crash

ANCHORAGE — A makeshift landing pad that might have come apart may have played a role in a helicopter crash that killed a pilot from Missouri.

The Anchorage Daily News says ( that’s from a preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report into an Aug. 7 crash at the Pogo Mine near Delta Junction. The crash killed the pilot, 63-year-old James Hopper.

A witness told federal investigators he called to be picked up at the remote landing site, which was a pad of interlaced logs attached with spikes.

The witness says the helicopter touched down but then pitched up, hitting trees and rolling down a hill.

Another witness told investigators he saw a log at the back edge of the landing pad had moved and the spike was pulled out.


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