Wreckage of helicopter crash that killed 5 found on glacier

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday that it has recovered the wreckage from a helicopter crash north of Anchorage that killed five people and is sending a team of investigators to examine the evidence, KTUU TV station reported.

On March 27, the helicopter carrying guides and guests on a heli-skiing excursion north of Anchorage slammed into a mountain and then rolled downhill hundreds of feet, killing the pilot and four of the five passengers, officials said.

Among the dead in the crash was billionaire Petr Kellner, the richest man in the Czech Republic.

The wreckage, which was found on the Knik Glacier, is “back in Palmer at a safe, secure location,” NTSB Alaska’s Clint Johnson told the TV station. “A team of six to eight people will be arriving, initially working on the wreckage and doing other activities throughout this next week.”

The NTSB investigator in charge will be coming from Seattle on Saturday and will be followed by the rest of the investigative team, Johnson said.

There are also two helicopter specialists on their ways to Alaska, Johnson said. That includes one each from the manufacturer of the air frame — in this case, Airbus — and the manufacturer of the engine, Safran Helicopter Engines.

“There’s going to be a number of things that are continuing to progress as far as the accident investigation goes,” Johnson said. “One key part of this is obviously being able to lay hands on the wreckage with the engineers.”

The wreckage was at about 6,000 feet of elevation, Johnson said.