• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr


    National Park South Dakota

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Helicopter Tour Makes Emergency Landing in Badlands

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Date: July 5, 2013
Contact: Cathy Bell, 605-433-5249

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, INTERIOR, S.D. — At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, park rangers received a report that a helicopter had made a precautionary landing southeast of the Big Badlands Overlook. The pilot landed the helicopter safely and no one was injured.

The helicopter was on a sightseeing tour over Badlands National Park at the time of the incident. In addition to the pilot, two passengers were on board the Badlands Helicopters flight.

The passengers were flown out of the park on another helicopter. The grounded aircraft remains in the park at this time but is not readily visible from viewpoints along the Badlands Loop Road.

Badlands Helicopters is an authorized park concessionaire that takes visitors on scenic overflights. Owner Mike Jacobs is working closely with park rangers to repair the aircraft and remove it without damaging park resources.

Both the FAA and the NTSB were notified of the incident.

Did You Know?

Sandstone caprock balanced atop eroding sediments, an example of a toadstool or hoodoo

The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.