June 28, 2013 |

Helicopter crashes in western Montana river

MISSOULA (AP) — A helicopter crashed in the Clark Fork River northwest of Missoula during firefighting training. The pilot was not seriously injured.

Missoula County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Kennedy said the helicopter crew was practicing water-bucket drops at about 1 p.m. Friday when the helicopter crashed. It was sitting upright in about 3 feet of water.

It was not immediately clear where the instructor was. Missoula Rural Fire District assistant chief Brent Christopherson said one person was on the helicopter and the instructor was on the ground, while Kennedy said the passenger was able to get to shore by himself and that crews rescued the pilot.

Kennedy said the helicopter is owned by a Lewiston, Idaho company. A woman who answered the phone at Hillcrest Aircraft Co. said no one was available to talk about the crash.

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