Rotocraft Update: Turbomeca demo flight kills two

 - May 19, 2008, 6:43 AM

A Eurocopter AS 350 helicopter crashed at the Tarnos, France factory of engine maker Turbomeca on March 26, killing company test pilot Eric Fortier, 41, and logistics support chief, Bruno Vallois, 60. Four passengers were seriously injured after the single-engine helicopter crashed into a warehouse at the site, which is in southwest France. Turbomeca had been marking the 5,000th delivery of its Arriel engine family and had held a series of demonstration flights during the event. The AS 350 was making the final flight of the day when it crashed. A company spokeswoman said she could offer no explanation for the crash, pending the official French accident investigation. Weather conditions at the time of the crash were described as “reasonable.”