What freezing rain can do…

Iced helicopter

There’s a helicopter in there somewhere

Last week a pilot and two researchers for the US Geological Survey were working near Mount Mageik on the Alaska Peninsula when freezing rain meant any sort of flying was no longer an option. The bad weather kept on, and two days later they were still there. Their helicopter looked like this.

Rescue for the three came in the form of another chopper, but this one is still there. What will they do to get it out? Wait for next summer?

Any guesses as to which type?

10 Responses to What freezing rain can do…

  1. Kris Van der Plas 10 September, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    I take up the challenge: looking at the rotor and the skids I would guess a Bell 206.
    Let me know what I won :-)

  2. David Learmount 10 September, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    My guess is the same as yours, Kris! But actually I don’t know because the US news report that I got this information from doesn’t mention the type. I’ll keep an eye on the NTSB incident list to see if it comes up, but technically this is not an accident. I’m wondering when they’ll get the helicopter back. Next summer when they can allow the sun to melt the ice? You can’t chip that stuff off without damaging the machine!

  3. DJ 10 September, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Skids and rotor say Bell 206 to me.

    Let’s hope we see and meltdown pic and find out if we’re correct!

  4. Phil C 10 September, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Yep I’d say Jetranger as well

  5. Shea 11 September, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    The formation of the buildup is interesting. It seems to be in clumpy patches, and doesn’t really follow the normal clear ice type buildup one would expect to see with freezing rain. Given there has been some snowfall after the initial rain, but I’m still amazed with the pattern.
    Would have liked to have had some more weather info, is a METAR for that period available?

    We can see a left to right wind from the shape of the build up on the rotor.

  6. Bill 18 September, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    My explanation for the shape of the accretions is that there was a snowfall which laid a nice fluffy blanket followed by wind driven freezing rain.
    I agree that there’s a Bell 206 in there, somewhere.
    Summer’s over!

  7. Billy Ragan 20 September, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Im with everybody else we have two Bell 206s that call my airport home and im guessing this is a Bell 206 that will need some serious work once the ice melts!

  8. JB 20 September, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    I would bet on a Bell 204 or 205…!!!

  9. Bill Howden 6 October, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Whatever machine it is, I wouldn’t want to fly it out of there when the ice finally clears. What other damage is going to be caused???

    My guess is that it’ll be written off unless it can be lifted out by Chinook (or similar)

  10. Rory Kay 13 October, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I am sure it is a 206 – this is the company that USGS contracted with. Pilot was the owner.



    I do not know if the bird is still up there…..

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