Rio Helicopter Crash

Friday, May 10, 2013
By George Hatcher


On May 8, 2013, a Helisul Táxi Aéreo Ltda-owned Helibras HB-350B Esquilo (Eurocopter Ecureuil) helicopter landing at a Rio de Janeiro heliport landed in the trees instead of on the landing area.

Aboard were the pilot and five tourists,a couple of miners, and two tourists from the United States. No one was injured though witnesses saw the pilot had hurt his hand. One of the passengers filed an injury complaint.

A gust of wind apparently blew the pilot off track. The company is calling the incident a forced landing.

By the time the fire department and Experts of the Institute of Criminology Carlos Eboli (ICCE) arrived, the passengers had already left. The Regional Investigation and Prevention of Accidents (Seripa) is also investigating.

Antonio Souza Moreira, father of one of the passengers, Álvaro Felipe, said his son had been injured on the shin. The helicopter ride had been a birthday present. Antonio confirmed that the pilot lost control at a gust of wind. There was smoke but no fire; and there was a fire extinguisher available. But the firefighters took an hour to arrive.

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