UPDATE: Pilot's identity released in Monroe Co. Sheriff helicopt - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Pilot's identity released in Monroe Co. Sheriff helicopter crash

Posted: Updated:
Town of Adrian, WI -

We now know the name of the pilot injured in a helicopter crash near Tomah Thursday. Monroe County Sheriff Pete Quirin said 70-year-old Phil Evans was the pilot.

He was taken first to Tomah Memorial Hospital and transferred via medical helicopter to Gundersen in La Crosse. On Friday, Gundersen said Evans was in good condition.

Sheriff Quirin was not able to tell us where Evans is from.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration continues to investigate the crash that happened Thursday morning around 10:30 near Glider Avenue and Flat Iron Avenue in the Town of Adrian.

It happened as Evans was crop dusting, spraying chemicals from the air onto a farm field.

It took search and rescue crews more than an hour to find Evans, which Monroe County Sheriff Quirin said was quick due to the remote location of the crash.

It's no secret that the Monroe County dispatch center is running off of one radio tower for the entire county. Which makes it difficult for dispatch to talk to emergency personnel in some locations.

Sheriff Quirin said they were fortunate in this case. The helicopter crashed, the pilot connected with the dispatch center from his cell phone, and emergency crews were able to stay on the phone with him until he was found in a rural corn field.

Sheriff Quirin said there were no hiccups in the system this time because the crash happened near the only communication tower in the county.

"If that would have happened at another location and us trying to find this guy and us having officers on the field not being able to talk to dispatch we might still be looking for the guy", said Sheriff Quirin.

News 19 reported at the end of July that the Monroe County board rejected a proposal to add new radio towers to help improve emergency communications in the county, so for now the project is stalled.

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