Pilot dies after helicopter crash into Snohomish County lake

KOMO photo

ARLINGTON, Wash. - The pilot of a helicopter that crashed into a Snohomish County lake has died, according to a family friend.

The pilot and his passenger were rescued after the chopper lost altitude soon after taking off Tuesday afternoon and plunged into King Lake, about five miles southwest of Arlington.

The passenger was swimming toward a log after the crash and was pulled from the water by a local resident with a boat. The pilot was found floating face-down in the water.

Both were taken to a local hospital, where the passenger was listed in serious condition and the pilot was listed in critical condition.

The pilot later died, a family friend told KOMO News. His name has not yet been officially released. The family friend says he was 70 years old.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said it got reports that the helicopter had been up for 60 to 90 seconds when witnesses heard unusual noises.

Jeffrey Abrams told KOMO News that he watched the helicopter fly 6 to 10 feet above King Lake. Then the skids hit the lake, and the helicopter nose dived into the water, he said.

He asked his wife to call 911 and ran to get his oars for his small boat, but the helicopter had already gone under. He reached both men and was bringing them both to shore when emergency crews arrived and began CPR on the pilot.

There is no word yet what led up to the crash.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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