Pilot killed in SW Colo chopper crash Identified

A.J. Blain was newlywed

CORTEZ, Colo. - A helicopter pilot who died after crashing in southwest Colorado has been identified.

The Dolores County coroner confirmed Wednesday that 27-year-old A.J. Blain, of Billings, Mont.,  died in the crash Tuesday east of Dove Creek.

Sheriff's officials say the Bell UH1 "Huey"  helicopter was owned by Billings Flying Service, which was his employer. Billings Flying Service is co-owned by the victim's father, Al Blain.

Federal agencies are investigating the crash. Sheriff's officials have said witnesses reported hearing a loud "pop" before the helicopter plunged a short distance to the ground.

Authorities say the helicopter was helping a subcontractor do seismic exploration for the energy company Kinder Morgan by moving heavy seismic equipment.

Blain had only been married a few months, according to his Facebook page.

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