EDITOR’S NOTE: There is an online petition urging $1 million in fines and 60 years of banishment from Montana, among other punishments, for the couple, who moved from Montana back in 2015. The petition equates the Scherwin’s to “Copper Kings” of the 19th century, using money and influence to avoid more severe punishment.
BOZEMAN (AP) – A Bozeman couple has apologized for landing a helicopter in the Bob Marshall Wilderness earlier this month.
Sara and Sam Schwerin said in a statement released by a public-relations firm on Friday that they believed they had landed outside the wilderness boundary.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the Schwerins reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Federal law prohibits landing a helicopter in a designated wilderness area. The National Park Service and Forest Service also request all aircraft stay at an altitude of at least 2,000 feet above any federal wilderness land.
Forest Service spokeswoman Lauren Alley said the incident is under investigation.
According to the Hungry Horse News, two men came across the helicopter parked on a sandbar in the South Fork of the Flathead River.
The newspaper reports Sam Schwerin told the men it was legal to park the helicopter where it was because it was below the high water line.