Preliminary report: Pomeroy fatal helicopter crash

Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thornson released picture of downed helicopter January 27, 2018 near Pomeroy.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report regarding a helicopter crash that killed one person and injured two others.

To date, Clarkston pilot Blake Malo remains in critical condition at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

On January 27, 2018, Malo and two others departed from Clarkston for a wildlife capture flight at about 11:06 a.m.

The Hells Canyon Helicopters crew was contracted by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to capture and attach radio collars to mule deer does. They had hoped to collar up to 50 deer. That was the first day of the project and WDFW officials said they had collared five before the crash.

According to the NTSB preliminary report released February 8, Investigator In Charge Samantha Link wrote "the pilot had mentioned that it was quite windy" during the refueling stop, which was around 3:00 p.m.

At about 5:15 p.m., "the helicopter departed the area to the west, and the biologist returned to the helicopter's helipad."

The wreckage was found about six miles to the west of the refueling location.

19-year-old Benjamin M. Poirer of Berthoud, Colorado was killed.

Garrett Bradshaw, 30, of Eagle Point, Oregon was injured. He was released from the hospital a few days later.

The preliminary report is subject to change.

The cause of why the aircraft went down is still under investigation.

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