DENALI PARK, Alaska DENALI PARK, Alaska – At approximately 3:20 p.m on Thursday, February 20, personnel from Denali National Park and Preserve received notification of a helicopter crash on Ruth Glacier via an emergency transponder. At approximately 3:00 p.m. a Robinson R44 helicopter took off from the Sheldon Chalet with two guests and one pilot. Shortly after takeoff, the helicopter crashed near the chalet. The emergency transmission was activated by chalet staff who witnessed the incident. The request for assistance was rescinded at approximately 3:30 p.m., after staff confirmed there were no injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the crash. Request for additional information regarding the crash should be directed to the NTSB Investigator-In-Charge (IIC), Clint Johnson, at 907-782-4842.
There was no significant impact to natural resources reported. The damaged aircraft will be removed next week, weather permitting. Park staff intend to visit the site in the near future to determine what efforts, if any, will be needed to remediate the area.
The Ruth Glacier is a popular spot along the Alaska Range, due to the presence of air-taxi landing areas and its proximity to many prominent climbing peaks.
The Sheldon Chalet sits on a private parcel inholding within Denali National Park and Preserve, and is operated by Mountain House, LLC.
The park does not expect to release additional information regarding this incident, except for information that pertains to any natural resources that may have been impacted.
Park information is available on the web at www.nps.gov/dena or by calling (907) 683-9532. Stay connected with "DenaliNPS" on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr.