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Helicopter fighting fire on private property crashes into lake near Whitefish, pilot uninjured

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KALISPELL, Montana — A former Flathead County undersheriff escaped injury when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a lake north of Whitefish as he was dipping a water bucket to help fight a fire on private property nearby.

Sheriff Chuck Curry says Jordan White was the only person on the helicopter and was able to get out of it as it sank in Beaver Lake at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. He swam to shore.

The sheriff's dive rescue team planned to try to locate and recover the helicopter on Wednesday.

Curry says the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.

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