A helicopter pilot was killed Saturday morning in a crash north of Shepherd.
Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said preliminary information indicates the helicopter, a Bell 206B, crashed after clipping power lines, although the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The pilot was the lone occupant of the aircraft, said Sgt. David Muhlbeier of the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office. The man's name was not released pending notification of relatives and an autopsy. It could be Tuesday before the autopsy is complete, he said.
Authorities would not release the pilot's age.
Emergency crews responded to reports of the crash and fire around 8:20 a.m. The helicopter crashed on private property near a bridge on the north side of Lambert Trail Road, a half-mile east of CA Road. Power lines run along the south side of the road.
The helicopter was destroyed in the crash and fire.
Members of the Shepherd Volunteer Fire Department, Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and other agencies responded.
The National Transportation Safety Board will take the lead in investigating the crash, Kenitzer said, and the FAA will also take part.
A basic preliminary report could be posted on the NTSB's website within a week or two of the accident, Kenitzer said. But it typically takes the NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for the accident.