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Two Killed When Chopper Goes Down During Movie Filming

July 13, 1985

LEES FERRY, Ariz. (AP) _ Divers searched the Colorado River for the body of a pilot killed along with a member of an Italian film crew when a helicopter struck a bridge during filming of a science-fiction movie.

Authorities identified the victims of Friday’s crash as Dan Nasca, 30, owner of Ramsey Helicopters in Salome, and a 47-year-old man from Rome. The name of the second man, whose body was recovered from the wreckage Friday night, was withheld until relatives could be notified.

The Bell Longranger helicopter fell about 400 feet into the river after hitting Navajo Bridge, which spans a portion of Marble Canyon about 15 miles south of Glen Canyon Dam near the Arizona-Utah border, said Coconino County Sheriff’s Lt. W.R. Anderson.

″The pilot tried to fly under the bridge, but the rotors struck the bridge and the helicopter fell into the water,″ Anderson said.

He quoted witnesses as saying the crash occurred as the helicopter attempted to repeat a scene that had been filmed a few minutes earlier by a crew on shore.

A Marble Canyon resident who asked not to be identified said a 30-member crew had been in the area for 10 days filming a movie, ″Hands of Steel.″

The crash occurred about 4:30 p.m., Anderson said. He said the helicopter landed upside down, submerged in 12 feet of water about 20 feet from shore.

Divers arrived on the scene shortly after 7 p.m. Friday, but were hampered by the swift current and a water temperature of 44 degrees, Anderson said.

The search for Nasca’s body was suspended at nightfall and was to resume at dawn.