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Flightseeing copter makes emergency landing


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Flightseeing copter makes emergency landing, loses beach
RISING TIDE: All aboard safe, but craft is stuck near Skagway.
By MATT VOLZ
The Associated Press

(Published: May 13, 2004)
An emergency landing turned into a bigger dilemma for four flightseeing tourists when the beach their helicopter landed on began disappearing under the rising tide.

The tourists and their pilot were found after they scrambled up the beach, leaving the helicopter in the water, said Federal Aviation Administration operations specialist Derril Bergt.

The five were plucked from the shore of the Taiya Inlet just south of Skagway by a rescue boat from the passing state ferry Fairweather.

The group had been on a flightseeing tour Tuesday of the glaciers and mountains around Skagway, where their cruise ship was docked.

Tim McDonnell, vice president of tours and marketing for Temsco Helicopters Inc., said the tour had finished and the helicopter was returning to Skagway when emergency warning lights flashed inside the chopper.

The pilot immediately landed as a precaution, he said. "When the lights came on, he did what he was supposed to do," McDonnell said. But the spot on the beach where the pilot chose to land was soon submerged by the tide, forcing the five up the beach and stranding the helicopter.

Company officials Wednesday said they did not know why the emergency lights went on or if anything was wrong with the helicopter.

The tourists and pilot, whose names were not immediately available, were uninjured and returned safely to Skagway, he said.

The tourists were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which departed Skagway as scheduled, McDonnell said.

The helicopter was still stranded Wednesday on the shore about four miles southwest of Skagway. McDonnell said officials with the FAA were to fly in to figure out how to recover it.

Bergt said he did not know if the incident would prompt an investigation but said the FAA would assist if needed. McDonnell said Temsco has gotten approval from the FAA to continue its flightseeing tours. Temsco, based in Ketchikan, is a charter service and offers flightseeing helicopter tours in Southeast Alaska

Mike

Christmas in Alaska 2003
CARNIVAL SPIRIT (Alaska) 2003
NCL SUN 2002
CARNIVAL PARADISE 1999
CARNIVAL SENSATION 1996
CARNIVAL ECSTASY 1995
CARNIVAL FANTASY 1992
NCL MS SUNWARD 1991
NCL SEAWARD 1990
SKY PRINCESS 1989
SITMAR FAIRWIND 1987
DOLPHIN 1986
NCL SUNWARD II 1983
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I wonder if it was a ship booked excursion and if the ship waited for them? [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] This happens just when I am getting comfortable booking independents.
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Although you can book Temsco independently as I did when we toured with them, most of their passengers are booked through the Cruise Lines. The other people on our Helicopter when we flew had booked through the Cruise Line.

Please notice how careful they were to land with any sign of trouble however.

Mike

Christmas in Alaska 2003
CARNIVAL SPIRIT (Alaska) 2003
NCL SUN 2002
CARNIVAL PARADISE 1999
CARNIVAL SENSATION 1996
CARNIVAL ECSTASY 1995
CARNIVAL FANTASY 1992
NCL MS SUNWARD 1991
NCL SEAWARD 1990
SKY PRINCESS 1989
SITMAR FAIRWIND 1987
DOLPHIN 1986
NCL SUNWARD II 1983
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Great job to the pilot for doing what he was supposed to do. It's great that everyone is safe and the passengers will have a story to tell for the rest of their lives! It would be interesting to see if anything scary happened other than the emergency lights coming on.

Jen

1st Cruise on Celebrity Mercury - Alaska 6/4/2004
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I guess that's one argument in favor of FLOAT planes! Dang!

[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=8b0000&cdt=2004;5;22;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img]
Diamond Princess HERE WE COME! Alaska has never been so cool! 5/22/04
May 31, 2003 Carnival Triumph to Western Caribbean.
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