Helicopter at bottom of Crater Lake
June 30th, 2000
Whatever happened with the helicopter that crashed into Crater Lake a few years ago? Did they ever fish it out? A friend of mine said park officials decided to leave the helicopter in the lake. Aren’t they concerned about polluting the water?
— Marian F., Yreka, Calif.
Your friend is right, Marian. Crater Lake National Park has decided, for the time being, to leave the helicopter where it lies in 1,500 feet of water.
Park officials were concerned that removing the craft that crashed into the lake on Sept. 23, 1995, could pose a danger to those trying to retrieve it. The cost of removal was estimated to be as high as $1 million.
However, the wreckage may some day be removed, particularly if that can be achieved in conjunction with research work being done at the bottom of the nation’s deepest lake, officials said.
Most of the craft’s 70 gallons of jet fuel and lubricants were released on impact. As a result, the wreckage does not threaten the crystal-clear quality of the lake’s water.
The helicopter, known as an A-STAR, was owned by American Eurocopter of Grand Prairie, Texas. The bodies of the pilot and his passenger were never recovered.
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