Former Pleasant View man stranded on Alaska volcano

Published: Saturday, Sept. 7 2013 10:46 a.m. MDT

A former Pleasant View resident and helicopter pilot is stranded on Mount Mageik, along with two passengers.

R. McGimsey, U.S. Geological Survey

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PLEASANT VIEW, Weber County — A former Pleasant View resident and helicopter pilot is stranded on the side of a volcano in Alaska, along with two passengers.

Sam Egli, president of Egli Air Haul Inc., was flying two researchers to retrieve equipment from Mount Mageik when an ice storm hit Wednesday. Egli's brother-in-law, Keith Sandstrom, said the trio is stranded above the 6,500-foot level until it's safe for rescuers to come after them.

"They've been stranded for two days now, and the weather has been so bad it's been difficult for any emergency rescue operations," Sandstrom said.

Searchers have used various aircraft to establish contact with the team, but weather has prevented a rescue, he said.

"They're in communication with them, but they're getting a bit discouraged," Sandstrom said. "I thought perhaps we should let Utahns know one of their own is in need of their thoughts and prayers."

Egli learned to fly while serving in the military, then moved to Alaska to launch his company. He now owns three helicopters, Sandstrom said.

"That was his dream," he said.

Meanwhile, family members still living in Pleasant View take comfort in knowing Egli has a safe record and some supplies. But as the days pass, their concern grows.

"We're a little bit heavy-hearted to think they that perhaps they're running out of provisions," Sandstrom said. "They're staying within the aircraft."

Now all the family in Utah can do is wait for news from Egli's wife, who lives in King Salmon, Alaska. The first call was to Egli's mother, who lives in Pleasant View.

"We're extremely concerned," Sandstrom said. "(His mother) is pretty upset, probably more than anybody, wondering about her son."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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