In the aftermath of Tuesday’s helicopter crash with five people on board, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has put in place a safety suspension of all its planes for 48 hours as a precaution, said Wednesday. officials.
“This will allow us to complete the review of the incident and debrief all of the aviation assets that were part of the Deep Creek Fire crash,” officials said in an email, adding that the decision has been made. under the direction and recommendation of the Chief Pilot and Security Officer of the DNRC Fire Protection Bureau. “This will allow us to complete the review of the incident and debrief all of the aviation assets that were part of the Deep Creek Fire accident.”
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The 48-hour security booth began at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The accident occurred during efforts to fight the Deep Creek Canyon fire between Townsend and White Sulfur Springs. The five people on board were able to exit the plane safely and were assessed by medical staff at Billings Clinic Broadwater in Townsend and St. Peter’s Health in Helena. They are now at home with their families, DNRC officials said.
The DNRC has 10 aircraft in its fleet which consists of seven helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft.
Officials said Wednesday it was one of five Bell UH-1H (Huey) Type 2 helicopters used to support the agency’s initial fire suppression program.