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


    National Park South Dakota

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    Park roads and parking lots are under construction. Expect occasional 10 - 15 minute road construction delays along Hwy 240 Loop Road. There is limited parking at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Please follow the signs to park in designate areas.

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?

The white water of Sage Creek

Available water in the badlands is always loaded with sediment. Cloudy and milky white in appearance, the water contains particles that carry a slight charge of electricity. The particles repel each other, instead of settling to the bottom. Early visitors found the water unsuitable for drinking.