Helicopter Crashes During Christmas Tree Harvest
Monday, November 02, 2015
Blane Hayes of Applebee Aviation, the chopper’s pilot, told West Valley Fire Department medics and fire personnel he was uninjured and refused medical assistance. He then left the scene along with the other employees of Applebee Aviation, a Banks-based aviation company, before Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene.
Witnesses told police there was “some sort of engine failure” that caused Hayes to lose control of the aircraft. The helicopter spun as it descended to the ground, damaging the rear tail section for the aircraft and the landing skids.
FAA investigators responded to the incident and are still investigating the crash, including why Hayes and the other employees left the crash scene so quickly.
The NTSB also responded to the crash. Representatives said they have been in contact with Applebee Aviation, also known as AAI.
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