Preliminiary Report: Power-Line Collision Claims Four Lives

 - February 24, 2010, 10:09 AM

Bell 206B, Auberry, Calif., Jan. 5, 2010–The JetRanger, registered to Palm Springs Aviation and operated by the California Department of Fish and Game, was on a deer surveying flight in VMC when witnesses saw it flying through a valley spanned by power lines. As the helicopter approached the vicinity of the lines it was seen to “rear back” and immediately descend. A static ground line strung between the tops of the power-line towers was found to have been severed at midspan. While the Bell’s cabin was consumed in the post-impact fire, examination of the main rotor blades revealed leading-edge gouges and abrasion marks consistent with the severed static line. The pilot and three passengers were killed in the crash.