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.
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.