Adverse wind conditions forced the hard landing of a Montana DNRC helicopter that caught fire near Townsend last week. This is according to a report released by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation following a review of the incident.

Following the hard landing, the pilot unbuckled and was standing upside down in the helicopter working to shut off the fuel to the engines.

Here are more details from the report:

As the pilot was doing this, he noticed the aircraft was on fire, and knew at least two crewmembers had already exited the helicopter. The pilot looked into the aft cabin to make sure nobody else was trapped. A crewmember yelled to the pilot that everyone was out, at which point the pilot crawled out himself. As the pilot approached the crew, he noticed the Helicopter Manager’s face was covered in blood, but the other crewmembers appeared to be OK.

We were first to report some of the details of the crash last week. Thankfully all five personnel on board survived the incident. The DNRC says this was the first helicopter crash in the history of the DNRC aviation program. There have been two fixed-wing accidents previously.

The full report can be found by clicking here.

DNRC Director Amanda Kaster says the aviation program and the rest of the DNRC's firefighting personnel "remain resilient and ready for the upcoming fire season:"

We are incredibly grateful that the pilot and crew are safe and home with their families after the accident at the Deep Creek Fire. As one of the most capable and proficient air operations programs in the region, we are using this event to strengthen the Fire Protection Program at DNRC.  


Read More: Helo Down Near Townsend, Montana, All Crew Members Rescued |

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"Wildland fire on public lands managed by the Custer Gallatin National Forest, 25 miles east of Bridger, Mont., in the Pryor Mountains near the southern border of the Crow Indian Reservation." (Photos by Colby K. Neal/BLM) - Bureau of Land Management Montana and Dakotas


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