UTAH

Pilot says Thursday’s DNR helicopter crash could have been worse

Dec 9, 2022, 9:30 PM | Updated: 9:45 pm

Utah Department of Public Safety pilot Luke Bowman talks with media about the mission to rescue peo...

Utah Department of Public Safety pilot Luke Bowman talks with media about the mission to rescue people from a helicopter crash in the La Sal Mountains at a press conference in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Photo credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

MONTICELLO, Utah — Thursday’s crash of a Division of Natural Resources helicopter in the La Sal Mountains could have been much worse, according to a person who led the rescue mission.

“They were very fortunate that the helicopter kind of stayed where it was,” said Luke Bowman, chief pilot at Utah’s Department of Public Safety Aero-Bureau to KSL NewsRadio. “They could have slid a lot longer or tumbled a lot farther. Like I said, it was very steep, and they could have continued to roll down the hill.”

Bowman tells KSL NewsRadio the individuals onboard were prepared for the conditions. And that helped to ensure a happier ending to the ordeal.

“It was a pretty cold couple of hours for them,” he said. “And they were dressed appropriately. So just make sure wherever you’re going or what you’re doing to be dressed and prepared accordingly.”

The helicopter was in the area conducting a study on mountain goats when the crash occurred at 11:15 a.m.

Peter Johnston and Jessica Lowell contributed to this article.

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Pilot says Thursday’s DNR helicopter crash could have been worse