Facebook Twitter



Rescuers have recovered the remains of four men killed when their helicopter slammed into a cloud-shrouded peak while filming a commercial.

The pilot and two passengers were from Utah, and a third passenger was from Massachusetts. They were working for Kirwin Communications, a Park City-based company that was filming a sales and marketing video for Marker ski bindings.Weber County deputy sheriffs and search-and-rescue teams finished extricating the bodies from the wreckage about 2 p.m. Monday, said Lt. Mike Wells.

A rescue helicopter was not able to land but hovered above and lowered ropes to lift up and carry out the victims' remains.

James Peak was covered by clouds Sunday afternoon, and helicopter pilot Richard Mickelsen of Roy apparently didn't see the peak, Wells said. The helicopter crashed 1,500 feet below the top, Wells said.

The helicopter was reported missing by 11 skiers who were being filmed for the video, Wells said. They were awaiting the helicopter in the Wolf Creek area near Powder Mountain ski resort.

Mickelsen's passengers were David Wright of Park City, Brent Patterson of Ogden and Darren Bar-bera of Brockton, Mass.

The helicopter was leased from Diamond Peak Heli-ski Adventures, based at Nordic Valley, Weber County.

Mickelsen, 59, was a decorated Vietnam veteran who was retired from Hill Air Force Base.

He later supervised security for President Richard Nixon's plane, flying ahead of Air Force One to size up potential threats.

Paul Kirwin, owner of Kirwin Communications, said Wright was a longtime friend "and one of the most experienced back-country photographers in the business."

Barbera, he said, was a camera assistant described by Kirwin as an "extremely experienced back-country skier." Patterson was a guide "responsible for snow conditions and the ski environment."

Searchers could not find the helicopter at first, but a military helicopter lent to the search effort by Dugway Proving Ground found it Sun-day evening.