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Mike Ward


Pilot Ward was ferrying supplies to firefighters working in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The supplies were carried below the helicopter in a sling. There were loads for 2 drop sites in the sling. The helicopter arrived at the first site and lowered the sling to the ground. Firefighters released to load intended for the first site and reattached the second load meant to be dropped at the other site. The helicopter rotated as it began to leave the first drop site, and the aircraftâ019s tail rotor contacted a dead tree. The helicopter began to spin and fell to the ground. As the helicopter fell, the aircraft began to disintegrate, and a fire erupted. Pilot Ward was killed in the crash. For additional information about this crash, consult the National Transportation Safety Board web site at - NTSB identification SEA04TA158.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Mike Ward was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Helicopter Express, Inc.
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, Washington 98801

Chief: James L. Boynton

Age: 55
Rank: Pilot
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: August 11, 2004 10:25
Date of death: August 11, 2004
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: March 27, 2018