Montana Outdoors

Dec 4, 2012 12:55 PM by Tara Oster - KAJ News

New search and rescue helicopter in the Flathead

KALISPELL - Imagine being lost in the wilderness, losing hope that you'll be found when you start to hear the sound of a helicopter and you know people are searching for you. That sound means rescue is not far off.

A new state-of-the art helicopter will soon be serving Flathead County to improve search and rescue efforts in the back country. The helicopter is currently being used by Two Bear Management and the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.

It went into service this August and was used in rescue operations right away. The general manager of Two Bear Management, and one of the people responsible for starting this new rescue program, Jordan White, says they've been using these operations as training and preparation.

"For a brand new, twin engine helicopter that will be hoist equipped that will be able to help people in those remote and difficult areas to reach where you can't land a helicopter and in many cases it could take days for people on foot to reach," he pointed out.

The new helicopter will have the same color scheme, but will be equipped with the latest and best technology. It's worth an estimated $8 million, and was funded by venture capitalist Mike Goguen.

The helicopter will primarily serve the Flathead County Sheriff's Office starting in the spring, but will be available to assist agencies across the state.

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