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Helicopter pilot and passenger cling to tree after crash

Posted at 11:54 AM, May 29, 2015

CALEDONIA, Mich. -- Two people were able to escape a helicopter crash near Caledonia Friday.

11107164_10206136232142350_1456839399964264499_nThe helicopter crashed into some trees at about 11:45am in the 6900 block of 76th Street SE.   The Kent County Sheriff's Department says that the pilot, Ken Wilson, 55, of Dolan Springs, Arizona and the passenger, Raymond Osan III, 27, of Stockbridge, Michigan were able to get themselves out of the helicopter and hang on to the top of a tree.

The Caledonia Fire Department cut trees down to create a path through the woods for a bucket truck to retrieve Wilson and Osan from the trees. However, the aircraft is still stuck high in the tree, and it may be some time before it is brought back to the ground for inspection and investigation.  Crews are waiting for a crane to arrive that can lower the chopper.

A spokesman for Consumer's Energy tells us that the helicopter was contracted with them to inspect high voltage power lines in the area in the Caledonia and Middleville area.  The workers were contracted through a company called Hydaker-Wheatlake out of Reed City. The 1976 Bell helicopter was owned by Hawkeye Helicopters of Ottawa, Kansas.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The homeowner told FOX 17 "my wife and I were sitting inside when we heard this loud crack and walked outside and there's a plane in the tree."