A retired couple from Overhalla in Trøndelag were killed on Tuesday when a helicopter flying them to a remote mountain farm crashed into a field shortly after takeoff. The pilot survived, as did a dog accompanying the couple, but both were seriously injured.
The victims were identified as Roar Henning Stein, a retired police officer, and his wife Inger Eline Gaundal Stein, both age 68 and on their way to look after a family farm in the Gaundalen area of Snåsa, close to the Swedish border. A former colleague of Roar Stein said the mountain farm, located east of the Blåfjella-Skjærkerfjella National Park, was in a remote location without roads, and that it wasn’t unusual for the couple to be flown in by helicopter.
“This is just so sad,” the former colleague and friend, Tor Flasnes, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday. He’d known the couple since the 1980s and described them as active outdoor enthusiasts who also took part in local search and rescue operations, helped prepare ski trails in winter and joined wild salmon conservation efforts in local rivers.
The pilot, a man in his 50s, was on assignment for Midtnorsk Helicopterservice. He was rushed to St Olavs Hospital in Trondheim where he was reported to be in serious condition. The dog was in veterinary care.
NRK reported that there was no wind in the area but thick fog at the time of the crash into a farmer’s field between Verdal and Stiklestad, not far from where the helicopter took off. A crisis team was set up in Overhalla to help take care of family members and friends. The cause of the crash is under investigation.