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The helicopter crash that wasn't

November 30, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, eleven members of the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded to a report of a possible helicopter crash that turned out to be a false alarm.

Residents in the Old Mammoth area reported the possibility of a helicopter crash in the Mammoth Pass/Mammoth Mountain area. Smoke was thought to have been seen in the direction the helicopter was last seen to have flown, residents said.

Initially two SAR members responded to the area with an aircraft beacon (ELT) direction finder. Several readings were taken but no signal was heard. Contact was made with Mammoth Mountain, and personnel from the resort went to the top of Mammoth Mountain on snowmobiles but could confirm no evidence of a crash in the descending darkness from that vantage point.

Contact was made with Hot Creek Aviation who confirmed a Eurocopter was refueled at Mammoth Airport, had two people on board, and was flying to Livermore.

Just after 6 p.m., the Livermore airport advised it had been in radio contact with the helicopter, which was safe.

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