Photos of the five men killed in a mountainside helicopter crash in Alaska emerged Monday as investigators worked to piece together what caused the horrific wreck.
Among the dead was Czech Republic’s richest man, 56-year-old billionaire investor Petr Kellner, the founder of investment group PPF, and another Czech national, Benjamin Larochaix, 50.
A third man from the country, snowboarder David Horvath, 48, was the sole survivor aboard the doomed heli-ski tour that went down Saturday near Knik Glacier northeast of Anchorage, authorities have said.
He remained in serious but stable condition at an Anchorage-area hospital, according to Alaska state police.
Two experienced American guides — Gregory Harms, 52, of Colorado, and Sean McMannany, 38, of Girdwood, Alaska — also perished in the wreck, along with the 33-year-old local pilot, Zachary Russel, authorities said.
Harms, a respected ski guide for 23 years, was known for leading skiers to remote mountains, his friend Chris Davenport told the Anchorage Daily News.
“His clients would follow him, he was kind of the Pied Piper of heli-skiing, going to these incredible locations,” Davenport told the newspaper.
McManamy guided more than 15 mountaineering trips in Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve, his former boss, Bill Allen, told the newspaper.
“He was the heart and soul of our operation in Anchorage,” said Allen.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday that the chopper, an Airbus AS350B3, crashed about 15-feet below a ridgeline about 5,500 in elevation.
“The area is very rugged, both in terms of terrain and in terms of weather conditions,” NTSB member Tom Chapman said at a Monday briefing.
Chapman said investigators have not yet interviewed Horvath.
With Post wires