Sun, Jun 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Helicopter that killed film director used for 15 years

Staff writer, with CNA

A helicopter that crashed in Hualien County yesterday, killing all three passengers on board, including acclaimed Taiwanese documentary director Chi Po-lin (齊柏林), had been in service for more than 15 years, the Civil Aeronautics Administration said.

The Bell 206B-3 helicopter manufactured in 2001, which belonged to Emerald Pacific Airlines, was the oldest of three Bell helicopters operated by the company.

Aviation authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

Emerald Pacific Airlines, founded in 1994 and based in Taichung, is mainly contracted to clean cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines.

The airline has had four other crashes prior to yesterday’s, mostly involving the same type of aircraft.

On Nov. 29, 1999, a Hiller UH-12 helicopter flying along Kaoping River en route to spray pesticide on banana farms in Pingtung County crashed at the river dam catchment area, killing the pilot.

On Sept. 3, 2001, a Bell 206B-3 helicopter became tangled in power lines and crashed when crew were cleaning cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines for Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), killing two on board.

On Dec. 18, 2014, a Bell 206B-3 helicopter was used to clean cap and pin insulators for Taipower when it suddenly lost power.

The pilot made an emergency landing and two people on board sustained minor injuries.

On Nov. 22, 2015, a Bell 206B-3 crashed when used for cleaning cap and pin insulators for Taipower, killing two on board.

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