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Mon July 25, 2011
Helicopter used to dry cherries crashes and burns, pilot killed
WENATCHEE, Wash. — Chelan County sheriff's officers say a helicopter flying low to dry cherries in a northcentral Washington orchard hit power lines, crashed and burned, killing the pilot.
Lt. Maria Agnew says the pilot is believed to be a 24-year-old man but he was not immediately identified pending notification of relatives. Detective Sgt. Jerry Moore says the pilot was flying for a Brewster, Wash., company called Golden Wings.
The helicopter crashed Monday afternoon between Chelan and Manson. Moore says a witness reports the aircraft had just flown over a block of cherry trees and was turning to fly back when it hit power lines 40-50 feet above the ground. Helicopters hover low to dry the moisture off the cherries, which can split after hard rains in warm weather.
The pilot was alone in the aircraft.