UPDATED: A man and woman in their 40s from Rogaland were killed when the helicopter they were flying crashed Sunday in steep mountain terrain near Røldal. An investigation into the cause of the private helicopter crash was already underway on Monday.
The helicopter is believed to have taken off around 3pm Sunday afternoon, bound for Karmøy on Norway’s West Coast. The pilot had not filed any flight plan, which is not illegal but can lead to delays in mobilizing search and rescue crews that also then have less information to work with.
The helicopter, a Robinson R44 that could carry four people, was reported missing by family and friends of the couple on board just before 10pm Sunday. Wreckage from the crash wasn’t found until 3am Monday, not far from the ski resort at Røldal, and then it took time for rescue crews to reach it via snowmobile and on foot.
The two people on board, later identified as Jarle Hegerland and his wife Ann-Cathrin Losvik of Avaldsnes on Karmøy, were declared dead at the scene around 4:20am, and their bodies were retrieved and sent to the closest town, Odda. A team from the state accident investigation board (Havarikommisjonen) was sent to the scene on Monday to determine the cause of the crash. TV2 reported there were 12 accidents involving the same type of helicopter, which is used for both military and civilian purposes in Norway, between 1997 and 2012 in Norway.