A helicopter pilot died in a crash on Unalaska Island on Saturday evening, the two passengers that he was transporting were uninjured. The pilot, Lonnie Kennedy, 48, had just dropped off his two passengers and was attempting a take off from Chernofski Point when the helicopter skid caught the ground, causing the helicopter to roll over. Helicopter accident? Contact Nadrich & Cohen for a free evaluation call us at 800-718-4658.
The Coast Guard District 17 Command Center received a call at around 6pm of a helicopter crash with three people on board approximately 30 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. “The report came from the ranch house at Fort Glenn, reporting that their R44 helicopter crashed at Chernofski Point,” says Lieutenant Lee Coyle.
The Coast Guard dispatched a response team, which arrived at 8:27pm. Captain Gary Gray, an Unalaska Public Safety EMT, confirmed that Kennedy was already dead. The two witnesses had already left the area onboard another ranch helicopter by the time the Coast Guard arrived.
Helicopter Pilot Was Ranch Manager
The Coast Guard did not return with the body because they sent a response team to the helicopter crash, not a recovery team, according to Lieutenant David Mosley. “We are there as a response and rescue organization. We do quite a few land responses here in Alaska due to the remoteness of several locations, but we’re not a recovery organization. So, we went to provide medical assistance as we could,” says Mosley. “Once it was deemed that there was no medical assistance needed, our crews returned.”
Kennedy grew up in Arizona and that is where his wife and two children presently live. He moved to Umnak Island to become a ranch manager, working for the Alberta based company, Bering Pacific Ranches. Bering Pacific Ranches operates a certified organic cattle ranch in Fort Glenn, Umnak Island Alaska, in the Aleutian Island chain. This uninhabited area provides Bering Pacific’s cattle a large area to roam; the area is so large that the company uses helicopters to herd cattle rather than less efficient traditional methods.
Next Of Kin Notified Of Helicopter Crash
The next of kin have been notified of the fatal helicopter accident, according to State trooper spokesperson Megan Peters. Alaska state troopers were delayed for quite some time in recovering the body from the helicopter crash site because of the remote location.
Bad weather prevented state troopers from making it out to Chernofski Point until two days after the helicopter accident. Trooper Daniel Blizzard was leading the effort.”My concern as a trooper, and the family’s concern obviously is to get the remains back to the family,” says Blizzard.
Contact Helicopter Accident Attorney
Kennedy regularly traveled to Unalaska Island to pick up supplies and to work on the ranch at Chernofski Point. Kennedy became a local hero when he rescued eight people on the ranch when Okmok Volcano erupted in 2008. If you have had a helicopter accident or if you or a loved one have been injured in a helicopter accident please contact a qualified personal injury attorney today at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, you can call us at 800-718-4658, we can help you.