Three males had been killed when a helicopter observing and coordinating air drop operations at a Cabazon brush hearth collided in mid-air with one other helicopter and crashed in Riverside County, authorities stated Monday.
The crash occurred Sunday night close to Pipeline Street and Apache Path, in accordance with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Division.
“We’ve misplaced three nice people,” CalFire Southern Area Chief Dave Fulcher informed reporters, his voice choking with emotion.
The Bell helicopter flown by a contract pilot with a CalFire division chief and a CalFire captain on board was in an observer-coordinator function when it collided with a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter whereas battling the comb hearth that began about 6 p.m. with a construction hearth close to Broadway Road and Esperanza Avenue and charred about 20 acres of grass, Fulcher stated.
“Though this was a tragic occasion it might have been worse,” he stated. The Sikorsky helicopter with two individuals on board landed safely and nobody else was harm.
The crash brought on a 4-acre hearth that was put out, Fulcher stated.
Each helicopters and pilots had been below contract to CalFire, he stated.
The preliminary brush hearth was estimated to have charred 20 acres of grass.
The 2 helicopters had been amongst a half dozen plane that responded to the comb hearth, Fulcher stated.
Nationwide Transportation Security Board investigators had been en path to the scene, NTSB spokeswoman Jennifer Gabris stated.
She confirmed the helicopters had been a Bell 407 and a Sikorsky S-64E.
–Metropolis Information Service