Pilot survives helicopter crash in rural Skagit County

Pilot survives helicopter crash in rural Skagit County
Rescuers place the injured helicopter pilot on a gurney at the crash site.
OSO, Wash. (AP) - A helicopter crashed Tuesday as it was lifting cedar blocks during a logging operation near Oso, Washington, injuring the sole occupant.

The 63-year-old pilot was conscious and breathing after the crash, and he was reported to have facial and possible internal injuries, said Chad Clark, chief of patrol operations with the Skagit County sheriff's office.

The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The pilot had landed to pick up cedar blocks. As he was taking off, the tail of the helicopter "clipped a logging cable, spun out of control and crashed in a clear cut," Clark said.

The logging work was not connected to activities involving the Oso landslide that killed 43 people in March, Clark added. No other injuries were reported.

The helicopter, a Hughes 369, crashed at about noon, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

FAA records show the helicopter is registered to Olympic Air Inc. A man who answered the phone Tuesday at the Shelton-based company declined to comment.