Three men were tragically killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “Copter crash pilot remembered as icon of wildlife relocation”,the crash occurred about a mile west of the Carbon County Airport near Price. Pilot James Ian Innes, 59, of Salt Lake City; Andrew Innes, 30, of Park City; and George McDaniel, 40, of Idaho Falls, Idaho all died in the accident.

Both James and his son Andrew were originally from New Zealand, where James worked as a pilot for wildlife-relocation projects. After moving to Utah James continued to work as a pilot for Pathfinder Helicopter, Inc., a business that catches wild animals. James Ian Innes provided a wonderful service to our state, which is full of wildlife resources.

According to a KSL News article, “Friends and family remember helicopter pilot and son,” James was an excellent pilot that had logged over 10,000 hours. Those who knew James regarded him as the best pilot they ever knew and were shocked to learn that he had crashed during liftoff. Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Since James was such an experienced pilot, it seems something may have gone wrong with the helicopter. The families of all these victims would be well served by contacting a Utah Aviation Attorney that has extensive resources and team members to determine the cause of this sad accident. Many times a thorough investigation reveals defects in the construction and maintenance of these air crafts.