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Incident Name:
Date:  June 28, 1971, 2315 hrs
Personnel: Sam L Greiner
Age: 41
Agency/Organization:  BLM
Position: aerial firefighter


Wildland Firefighter Sam Greiner was killed in a helicopter accident near Lake Minchumina, outside of McGrath, Alaska. Information regarding the incident is not clear, but apparently an Alouette II helicopter that was carrying a crew from McGrath suffered an engine failure. While performing an emergency landing the helicopter rolled over on a steep bank or was knocked over by a sudden gust of wind. Ron Fitka of Marshal and Floyd Anderson of McGrath were helitak crewmen on the helicopter; Sam Greiner was the squad leader. He was struck by a main rotor blade while exiting the aircraft after the emergency landing.


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near Lake Minchumina, outside of McGrath, AK

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • June 28, 1971, 2315 hrs
    • 1 killed, Sam Greiner
    • Operator: unknown
    • Type: ALOUETTE II helicopter
    • Location: near Lake Minchumina, outside of McGrath, AK
    • FAA Registration # N4966
    • NTSB # ANC71AA062
  • National Transportation Safety Board: example Probable Cause (html)

    Type of Accident

    Collision with ground/water: controlled

    Collided with: Object

    Phase of Operation

    Landing: Power-on-landing

    Landing: Roll-on / Run-on

    Probable Cause(s)

    Pilot in Command - Improper operation of flight controls


    Pilot in Command - Psychological Condition

    Weather - Thunderstorm Activity

    Terrain - Other

    Emergency Circumstances - Forced landing off airport on land

    Adverse/Unfavorable weather

  • For more information consult the NTSB online lookup Utility Use NTSB Identification: ANC71AA062
  • US Social Security Death Index: Sam Greiner


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Contributors to this article:  Alaska State Fire Fighters Association

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