Fla. helicopter pilot killed in Ore. crash

Fla. helicopter pilot killed in Ore. crash

Fla. helicopter pilot killed in Ore. crash

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 9:01 AM

SALEM -- A pilot from Florida died after a helicopter crashed Monday afternoon in a remote area near Detroit Lake, authorities said.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. The helicopter was described as a Huey UH-1B used for logging operations, according to Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller.

Authorities said William B. Colantuono, 54, of Indianantic, Fla., was the only one person on board the helicopter when it crashed.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation and Safety Board were investigating.

Witnesses said Colantuono had just resumed flying after a 45-minute break. He tried to prematurely release a set of logs in what appeared to be a response to mechanical issues. The rotor then separated from the helicopter, which turned upside down and crashed.

The helicopter was owned by Umatilla Lift Services of Indianantic, Fla., and hired by R&R Connor Aviation of Darby, Mont., and Freres Lumber of Mill City.

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