7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.

From CNN and AFP/NST

Emergency services on Saturday found the bodies of two people missing after a helicopter and a small plane collided above a glacier in the Italian Alps the previous day, taking the total number killed to seven.

The crash occurred over the Rutor glacier near La Thuile, in the Aosta Valley, close to northern Italy’s border with France and Switzerland.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.

Five people were confirmed dead and two injured on Friday.

The two people who remained missing were found after the search resumed Saturday morning.

Two helicopters were sent up carrying medical personnel and emergency rescue workers to scour the area, the officer said. All those on board the two aircraft are now accounted for.

The helicopter was carrying six people — the pilot, an alpine guide and four passengers who were heli-skiing. Three people were aboard the light aircraft, all of them pilots who were training in mountain flying.

The two injured remain in the hospital, the officer said. Italy’s mountain emergency service tweeted Friday that they were of French and Swiss nationality.

Investigators are now working to piece together what led to the crash.

Italy police probe French pilot over helicopter-plane crash

Italian police were investigating a French pilot Sunday over the deaths of seven people in a collision between a helicopter and light aircraft in the Alps, according to media reports.

The pilot, named as Philippe Michel and one of only two survivors of the deadly accident in the Aosta Valley near France late Friday, was questioned by police in hospital, the Messaggero daily and other outlets reported.

The crash appeared to have happened just after the helicopter took off, unaware that the French Jodel plane was landing.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.

“The collision happened in flight, probably at a few dozen metres above ground. The wreckage from the aircrafts was spread over an area of about 400 metres square,” Alpine rescue group leader Paolo Comune told the media.

The Italian helicopter pilot, a German alpine guide and three German heli-skiers were killed, along with a French national and a Belgian. Michel and an injured German were airlifted to hospital in Aosta.

More info:

CNN.

AFP. NST.com.MY 

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You can start thinking about your trip, by reading the articles on the Planning your Ski Trip tab.  Or how to pack for your family ski trip.  If taking your furry friend abroad to the continent, read about the new Pet Travel Scheme update from DEFRA. Check out our tips for driving to the mountains.  If flying and renting a car in Europe, beware of the extra charges they will pass to you if you want winter tyres, snow chains or ski racks. If driving, check the winter tyres news for Europe and North America.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.

Or you can read our last news on equipment as seen at the London Ski Show. Also, the new range of skis of Black Crows, one of our favourite brands. Shred-Dog is a definitely favourite brand for parents of growing kids. And check the new Mohawk helmet with augmented reality.

We have already covered many news due to this latest spat of snow storms in Europe, as the hotel that was hit by an avalanche of 300 meters of width in Eastern Switzerland. In the same place, a couple days later, a second avalanche affected the structure of the Säntis Suspension Railway. And two ski patrollers got killed setting avalanche control charges in the French resort of Morillon in the Grand Massif. Also two workers died in Jammu in the Gulmarg in India, when they’ve fallen from a cable car during a mock rescue drill.

Lots of snow makes you wonder how the resorts deal with the avalanche danger. Here you can read the interview to Coco Torres, former Head of Operations of Las Leñas, in Argentina, as how they dealt with avalanches at the resort. 

Or perhaps you may choose to read the Ski Resort NewsSki Passes News, and the Must-Read Guides to Lech,  Zermatt,  CourmayeurVal di Fiemme and Crans-Montana. Coming soon will be the guide to St Anton. Or  watch an amazing heli flight over the Mont Blanc Massif. Also see tips on how not to be scammed when booking a ski chalet.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Photo: Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico.

You can also read what’s new at Les Trois Vallées and the last article on what is new at the Tirol ski areas, in Les 2 Alpes,  in Cervinia, in La Plagne, in 3 Zinnen Dolomites ,  in Adelboden, Lenk and Kandertal, in Gstaad, in Chamonix,  in Georgia’s Gudauri Resort and in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. And how the US Ski Team has chosen Alpe Cimbra to train for the following four ski seasons as their European home.  Here is the link to our post on the My Voucher Codes ranking of best European Ski Resorts.  

Crested Butte will have a new chairlift to replace Teocalli lift for the 2019/20 ski season. Jay Peak is officially for sale.

You can plan where to eat in Aspen Snowmass or which events to attend on-mountain while there.  And Cortina D’Ampezzo is getting ready for this winter and the 2021 World Ski Championships. 

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.

Another classic resort, such as St Moritz has been in the news for its famous Cresta Run be opened again for women after a 89 years ban.

Also, you can read how Grandvalira will be staying together as one lift ticket company and how they are adding Ordino Arcalis to  this offer. Grandvalira is opening now all of its six sectors.  And also read how someone tried to sabotage some lifts in Vallnord’s Pal Arinsal. And as if it is starting to be a trend, there were two lifts sabotaged in Passo Rolle, in Val di Fiemme, Trentino. Fortunately they were repaired in record time to open to the public. It seems also that the deadly fire in a Courchevel employee housing building was arson.

Also, Mt Hood Meadows was forced to evacuate one lift with 150 skiers and boarders due to a power failure. And the same was the case in a lift with 140 skiers/boarders in Whitefish, Montana. A last one to report was now in Stowe, VT, with more than 150 stuck skiers and boarders that have to wait up to two and a half hours to offload. Recently a British skier was killed after suffering a cardiac arrest on a chairlift falling 32 feet to the ground in Méribel resort in Les Trois Vallées. You can see our recent article on how avalanches claimed two lives in Switzerland the past week. And read more what is the real risk of avalanchesThree Germans have been killed by an avalanche near Lech and a fourth is missing. Two were caught in an inbounds avalanche near Kachina Peak in Taos and taken to hospital.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.

Or read about the latest investments in Whistler Blackcomb. Or see how Taos is going against the industry trend, and instead of merging with the two biggest oligopolies in skiing at the moment, it goes and buys an airline to get more bums in resort. Or how Jackson Hole is appealing to families and beginners – it is not only a resort for expert skiers anymore. Another great area for families is Stubaital in the Tirol. And a new coming ski area that got funding for its first lift is Skeetawk in Alaska.  Courmayeur is opening this season two new trails, one that is 70% steep – not for the faint-hearted! Or read how a group of experienced industry insiders got together to purchase Tamarack Resort. And how Peak Resorts finalised the acquisition of the resorts of Snow Time. You can also check how Vermont’s ski passes are the most expensive in New England. And talking about Vermont, you can read on how Killington is planning to change its North Ridge triple chair with a fixed-gripped quad.

Also read how one employee of Aspen Ski Co got caught in an avalanche but got out unscathed while scouting terrain for the Aspen Mountain Powder Tours. Or how the a gondola of the new American Eagle lift from Copper Mountain crashed into the snow in a trial run. The resort confirmed that the chondola will be fixed before it’s opening day. Plus this week, some gondolas got tangled in Hochzillertal. And there was a gas explosion at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof that injured six, before its opening date.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.

You can keep up to date on how are the sales for the EPIC and IKON passes are doing here. Read how Emma, the first Digital Mountain Assistant, is launched in Keystone now and will be rolled to eight other resorts this season.  Breckenridge and Keystone are one of the resorts with the longest ski season in the United States. And even read about the new incorporation to the IKON Pass: Valle Nevado. Here is also a post on the South American resorts.  

Or you can see the inspiring story of the “Cholitas” – the indigenous Aymara ladies who are attempting to climb the highest peak of the Americas – the Aconcagua at 6,962 meters/22,840 feet.

Also, Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam donated 2 million USD in grants to support mental and behavioural health programs in ski towns of North America. And see how Aspen Skiing Company released its sustainability report 2018.   And also check Aspen’s Give a Flakecampaign. The Audi Power of Four Mountaineering Race is coming back to Aspen. And the ’12 hours Head NonStop’ is going back to Sierra Nevada.

7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.
7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps.

And here is a summary of a report by LISTEX on the State of the UK Snowsports Market. The US had it first National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Day with 6,200 lessons given.

And what Switzerland could look by 2060 due to climate change.

Or check out how now with the EPIC Pass you can ski in Europe, specifically in Les Trois Vallées and the resorts of Skirama Dolomiti in Trentino’s Italy. Or see our review of L’Héliopic Hotel Sweet & Spa if thinking in staying in Chamonix this winter. Or check out the new Snowpine Lodge in Alta, Utah opening late January 2019.

Featured Image:  7 killed as helicopter and light aircraft crash over the Ruitor Glacier near La Thuile in the Italian Alps. Ski map of La Thuile. 

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