Since you asked
December 04, 1997
Risks keep helicopter in the deep
About 18 months ago an experimental helicopter crashed and sank to the bottom of Crater Lake. Has the helicopter ever been retrieved? And if not, are there any plans to retrieve it and the bodies?
— Ed C., Medford
The helicopter you’re referring to crashed Sept. 23, 1995, killing the pilot, George W. Causey of Enumclaw, Wash., and his passenger, Edward Tulleners Jr. of West Linn.
Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Al Hendricks says it would be quite a production to find and remove debris from the seven-passenger Aerospatiale AS-350. A study on whether the Park Service should attempt to recover the debris suggested it would take about 60 helicopter trips into the caldera to set up a floating work platform to find and raise the debris.
Hendricks says much of the gear would be sling-loaded beneath helicopters. Hauling the gear would pose its own risks because pilots often jettison a slung load if they encounter problems.
All those factors led park managers to decide they would not try to retrieve the debris until the next time they bring a deep-diving vessel to the lake for research.
Hendricks says there has been no date set for the next research project, so the wreckage could sit on the bottom of the lake for a few years.
Hendricks says both victims’ families decided the bottom of Crater Lake was a good place for their loved ones to spend eternity.
CORRECTION (say it ain’t so!):
Dedicated “Since You Asked” readers might recall our Nov. 13 reply to Oscar Z., who wondered about regulations that apply to golf carts on Medford streets. We pitched the question to Medford police, who sent us a written response that golf carts are allowed
on city streets within a half-mile of the Rogue Valley Country Club and exempt in that area from normal vehicular requirements.
Oops. The police were wrong.
Medford Deputy Chief Ron Norris says state law requires golf carts on roadways to be registered and licensed as motor vehicles, to have the same safety equipment as motor vehicles and to have on display a slow-moving vehicle emblem. Also, drivers must possess liability insurance — and carry proof of it.
The only exceptions are a DMV-designated disabled person’s golf cart, or where a special local ordinance permits operation of a cart on a roadway within a half-mile of a golf course. Medford does not have such an ordinance.
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Related News Stories
- Helicopter at bottom of Crater Lake – June 30th, 2000
- Crater Lake ‘copter won’t be retrieved – January 26, 2000