Troopers ID Missouri pilot in fatal Alaska helicopter crash

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Missouri man has been identified as the helicopter pilot who died in a crash near Delta Junction.

Alaska State Troopers say 63-year-old James Hopper died when his helicopter crashed into a hillside Tuesday. He was a seasonal employee, and his hometown in Missouri was not immediately available.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/kADynJ) the helicopter was doing exploration work for Pogo Gold Mine. The accident happened as Hopper was en route to pick up miners.

No one else was on board, and he was declared dead at the scene. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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