Five Deceased and One Survivor in Late Saturday Knik Glacier Helicopter Crash



Photo from the crash site near Knik Glacier. Photo courtesy of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.
Photo from the crash site near Knik Glacier. Photo courtesy of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.

Alaska State Troopers have released the identities of the Saturday night helicopter crash victims and also report that the sole survivor of the crash, 48-year-old Czech Republic resident David Horvath, remains in serious but stable condition at an Anchorage hospital.

AST was notified of an overdue helicopter and the location of possible crash debris near the Knik Glacier at 10 pm on Saturday night. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was notified and dispatched an aircrew that was able to locate the crash site. The team picked up the one survivor of the crash and transported him to the hospital and also confirmed five deceased. The deceased were identified as:

  • 52-year-old Colorado resident Gregory Harms
  • 56-year-old Czech Republic resident Petr Kellner
  • 50-year-old Czech Republic resident Benjamin Larochaix
  • 38-year-old Girdwood, Alaska resident Sean McManamy
  • 33-year-old Anchorage, Alaska resident  Zachary Russell (pilot) 

The helicopter was identified as an Airbus AS350B3 belonging to Wasilla-based Soloy Helicopters.



The Alaska Army National Guard and volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group accessed the crash site on Sunday and recovered the remains of the victims who are thought to have been heliskiing the area. During the recovery, the FAA put flight restrictions in place. Those restrictions continue to be in place until at least 11 am on Monday morning.

The 28 -mile glacier northeast of Anchorage, in the north of the Chugach Mountain Range is a popular destination for sightseeing flights, and hiking and boating tours.

The National Transportation Safety Board has gone to the crash site and have opened an investigation into the crash.