Preliminary Report: Photo helo crashes in ocean

 - November 6, 2007, 7:08 AM

Bell 206B JetRanger, Nokomis, Fla., Sept. 11, 2007–On a racing boat photo shoot for Powerboat magazine, the helicopter was flying about 85 mph at about seven to 10 feet off the water, about 100 yards ahead of the boat. It was crabbing about five degrees, with the photographer shooting out the back door. A witness said the helicopter appeared to hit the ocean with the front right skid, “tumbled vertically” then “disintegrated violently.” The two passengers were killed and the commercial pilot was seriously injured. The helicopter, registered to Biscayne Helicopter and operated by Southland Helicopters, was destroyed.