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3 Die In Alaska Trooper Helicopter Crash

April 01, 2013  | 

Trooper Tage Toll (left) and Pilot Mel Nading were killed in the Helo 1 crash. Photos courtesy of Alaska Governor's Office and Alaska State Troopers.
Trooper Tage Toll (left) and Pilot Mel Nading were killed in the Helo 1 crash. Photos courtesy of Alaska Governor's Office and Alaska State Troopers.

An Alaska State Trooper helicopter carrying a trooper, pilot, and snowmobile rider on a search and rescue mission went down about 100 miles north of Anchorage on Saturday evening.

The three occupants of the craft—including Pilot Mel Nading, Trooper Tage Toll, and Carl Ober—were killed in the crash, the agency announced Monday.

Nading responded with Helo 1 and picked up Trooper Toll at the Talkeetna post. Helo 1 then headed to Larson Lake about 10 miles east of Talkeetna to locate the 56-year-old Ober, who had flipped the snowmobile, injuring his ribs.

The helicopter picked up Ober shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday and was scheduled to transport Ober to medics in Talkeetna for treatment. When Helo 1 didn't show up, two Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to the area.

Helo 1 flies in Hacher Pass in 2007. Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers.
Helo 1 flies in Hacher Pass in 2007. Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers.

Rescue aircraft located the wreckage of Helo 1 on Sunday near the south end of Larson Lake. Two Para jumpers were lowered to the scene along with two wildlife troopers. There were no survivors.

"Everyday our people are put in harm's way and face it head on without a second thought that today they may not come home," said Megan Peters, Alaska State Troopers' spokeswoman, in a statement. "They are brave and service-minded individuals and Alaska is much safer because of them."

The National Weather Service said the temperature in Talkeetna Sunday night was 34 with light rain that turned into snow at about 11 p.m., but that visibility was 10 miles, reports the Associated Press. The cause of the crash in now under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Rod156 @ 4/1/2013 6:39 PM

I've flown with Tx DPS and LAPD helicopters and have the greatest respect for the pilots and officers that risk their lives each time the go up. Whether they are on a rescue mission or assisting ground officers, the risk is always there. I pray for them and their families and the troopers that they work with in the wilderness of Alaska.

Trigger @ 4/2/2013 6:40 AM

Brothers Toll and Nading thank you for your service. May the Good Lord hold you both close.

Leah Austin @ 4/2/2013 12:17 PM

It was an honor to have worked with both of you. My prayers are with your families.

Jere @ 4/2/2013 4:05 PM

It is very sad, but Helecopters are the most dangerous aircraft. They have too many things that can go wrong, they are not easy to fly in fact they are DIFFICULT to fly, I am no a pilot but I flew in several hundred flights in Viet Nam in helicopters and 5 of them went down. Fortunately for me ans the troops in the choppers the pilots were able to autorotate down and get us on the ground.

Clint @ 4/3/2013 4:30 AM

Toll was a Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper for two years before moving to Alaska. Nice guy. Sorry to hear this.

Mj cully @ 2/8/2014 7:41 PM

I just saw the tv show Alaska State Trooper during which Officer Nading in his chopper rescued this very same civilian approx two years prior to this crash. That is such awful news then to hear at the end of the segment that both were killed during this most recent rescue attempt. My heart goes out to all three families involved. Thank you officers, no matter where you patrol, for your service and sacrifice each and every day.

Abby @ 8/14/2014 10:51 PM

I am so very saddened to hear that Trooper Toll and Trooper Pilot Nading lost their lives trying to help people that they don't even know. I am so thankful for the men and women who protect and serve this great country. To the families of the fallen Troopers I send to you much peace, know that your dear loved ones died doing what they loved to do. God bless you all.

jenny flynn @ 11/18/2014 11:04 AM

My heart goes out to all the Troopers and their families..God Bless

jenny flynn @ 11/18/2014 11:05 AM

My heart goes out to all the Troopers that put their lives on the line everday. May God Bless all of you!!

Yvonne Rousseau @ 1/4/2015 5:14 PM

As a former law enforcement officer, I appreciate and respect the work any officer initiates with such integrity. What a major loss to the Troopers, their families, and friends. God bless all of you.

Jim Ruda @ 1/7/2016 10:07 AM

I'm watching an episode of AST right now with Trooper Nading in it. So sad to watch it. He gave his all. R.I.P. Troopers.

Bill Colello @ 5/21/2016 7:11 AM

God Bless and look over your families. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice

Bill mckeown @ 5/29/2017 9:09 PM

God bless the family's of the fallin!!!

Nathaniel @ 6/10/2017 10:06 AM

Watching AST now where troopers are talking about setting up the headstone God bless all troopers and their families

Steven Elliott @ 1/19/2018 10:08 PM

This is Truly a very Sad Story and Tragedy to Alaska. I've watched both Troopers on the AST Show and know these two Troopers were Honorable Brave Men that gave their lives in a Rescue Mission. I'm sure Mr. Ober was a Gentleman at Heart too and sadly, lost his life while exploring the Beautiful, but Treacherous Mountain Wilderness of Alaska and to the inherit Danagers to Everyone in Search and Rescue Missions. May God Bless these Three Men and look over their Loved Ones and the Troopers at large that must take this Tragedy in Stride and move forth with determination conducting their Duty to the Citizens of Alaska and to those that visit America's Largest, Wildest, and most Beautiful State with all her inherit Dangers. It would be nice to see the NTSB's Alaska Aircraft Investigations do a Respectful Episode Concerning this Tragedy in Honor of the Fallen Troopers and the wayward Snowmobiler who fell victim to Alaska's Trechary that night while Bravely Facing Mother Nature to Enjoy it's Beauty.

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