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September 22, 2018
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One year since Santa Fe 'copter crash (Listen again)
(KSFR) -
A year ago today began a series of events that led to a double tragedy in the mountains above Santa Fe. A state police helicopter that had been dispatched to find a missing hiker went down in a big snowstorm. The pilot of the helicopter was killed along with the female hiker he had just rescued. Another state police officer aboard the copter spent the night in the cold, but survived the ordeal.

The helicopter crashed in the early evening hours of June 9th, 2009. Search and rescue teams had been searching for more than a day for the missing hiker. Now they were also searching for the helicopter.

It wasn't until the next morning, June 10th, that some but not all of the details of the helicopter crash emerged. Peter Olson of the state police told us early that morning what little he knew at the time. KSFR's Dan Gerrity went up to the base camp during the ordeal.

At the time, state police were not revealing the name of the copter pilot. We later learned that it was Sgt. Andy Tingwall whose wife, coincidentally, was helping handle dispatch duties at state police headquarters.

The other state police officer aboard the helicopter was Wesley Cox. He was riding as a spotter. Cox later said that the pilot set the helicopter down and decided to leave the aircraft himself and walk on foot, about a mile, to find the woman. The pilot found the woman, carried her back to the copter and attempted a take off. He thought he could fly through a hole in the clouds of a new storm. But the storm suddenly overwhelmed them and the copter went down.

Later on June 10th we had more details about the crash. The following day the head of the state police, Chief Feron Segotta confirmed the name of the pilot as Andy Tingwall.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating the incident for a year. They have not yet released a final report of their findings.

Segments of audio in the clip above:

1. Peter Olson
2. Dan Gerrity
3. Feron Segotta
4. Bob Baker

Narrated by Bill Dupuy on June 9, 2010.

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