We immediately got on the phone and confirmed that, indeed, there was a helicopter crash in Kyrgyzstan this spring and two American clients (Dennie and William Spann of Tennessee) and one Canadian (Clay Lancaster) were injured slightly. By the time we made our calls, all three were already at home. Only Lancaster had an injury (to his eye) that could be classified as serious, and even that injury was healing quickly.
We issued an E-Mail Extra News Bulletin on the crash on March 25, and that helped reduce the panic and hoopla. Perhaps you were even forwarded a copy of that bulletin. If not, you may want to know that the ugly downside of the crash was it killed both the pilot of the helicopter and a Kyrghiz passenger. Quite a few other Kyrghiz passengers were wounded, three very seriously.
The crash occurred when the helicopter was attempting to take off from the Marco Polo hunting camp where the Spanns and Lancaster were stranded by heavy snow. Seems both a rescue helicopter and a snowmobile team were sent out to pick them up, and both arrived at almost the same time. Ultimately, the trio decided to go back to Naryn, the nearest town, by chopper.
Just why the chopper crashed will perhaps never be known, but one of the hunters, Dennie Spann, told The Hunting Report that "it seemed to him the chopper was overloaded." In all, he said, there were 24 people onboard. He said he understood the chopper was rated to hold 19 people. "We lifted off normally and were climbing" Spann says. "Then, all of a sudden, we just fell. There was a huge BOOM! And we started rolling. I don't........(continued)