CORRECTED: Seven Killed in Helicopter Crash in Peruvian Jungle
Seven people were killed in a helicopter crash Monday near Lake Yarinacocha, Pucallpa, in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
The helicopter left the Pucallpa airport on Monday afternoon en route to Tarapoto, northwest of Pucallpa, but crashed shortly after takeoff.
All of the crash victims were employees of Columbia Helicopters, the company said in a statement.
An earlier version of this story erroneously indicated that some of the fatalities were employees of the company that Columbia Helicopters was providing its services to, Petrominerales, which is exploring for oil and gas in four large land concessions it has in the Ucayali Basin.
The employees lost in the crash were identified as:
Dann Immel, Command Pilot (hometown: Gig Harbor, WA)
Igor Castillo, Copilot (Peru)
Edwin Cordova, Maintenance Crew Chief (Melbourne, FL)
Luis Ramos, Aircraft Mechanic (Peru)
Jaime Pickett, Aircraft Mechanic (Clarksville, TN)
Darrel Birkes, Senior Load Manager (Peru)
Leon Bradford, Load Manager (Santaquin, UT)
“This is a very sad day for Columbia Helicopters,” Michael Fahey, president of Columbia Helicopters, said in the statement. “We may operate globally, but we are still very much a family. The loss of our employees hurts deeply, and I knew most of these men personally. Our employees are grieving, and we are praying for the family members of the
friends we lost.”
Fahey added that the company dispatched a management investigation team to Peru, and we will work closely with all authorities and witnesses to conduct a thorough investigation.
Columbia Helicopters is based in Portland, Oregon and operates in a number of industries, including oil exploration.