July 10, 2013

Pilot in Maine helicopter crash recovering after surgery

The Associated Press

BOWDOINHAM — The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in Burnham last week while tracking a bear has been identified as a Bowdoinham lawyer and activist.

Authorities say 58-year-old Ed Friedman was piloting the helicopter with 27-year-old passenger Lisa Bates, assistant leader of a Unity College bear project.

The helicopter was just above tree level on July 3 following signals from a bear's tracking collar when it went down.

Friedman was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A hospital spokeswoman tells The Times Record he underwent surgery Friday and is in fair condition.

Friedman is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the state and Central Maine Power Co. regarding their approval of smart meters for residential accounts.

Bates was released from MaineGeneral Medical Center after treatment for her injuries shortly after the crash.

The crash remains under investigation by federal transportation authorities.

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