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  • Columbia Defends Its Image
    Posted by George Larson 7:51 PM on Mar 07, 2011

    At precisely 5 pm Sunday evening, a woman named Tanya who identified herself only as "representing Columbia Helicopters" stood up before a gaggle of perhaps half a dozen media representatives and proceeded to read a statement:

    In August, 2008, a Sikorsky S-61 operated by Carson Helicopters under contract to the US Forest Service crashed, killing nine and injuring four. Columbia Helicopters was not a party to the event but supported the National Transportation Safety Board in the ensuing investigation. The Board concluded that certain contaminants in the aircraft's fuel control units did not contribute to the crash, and both engines functioned normally. The Board determined that the probable cause was intentional understatement of the empty weight and over stating of the lift capacity by the operator. The Board also cited insufficient oversight on the part of the USFS and the FAA as contributory.

    A post-crash fire following impact with trees and terrain caused the fatalities.

    No fault was attributed to Columbia Helicopters.

    And that was it. 

    She picked up her stuff and left. No questions, no nothing.

    As an experience, it was the live equivalent of reading a full-page statement in The Wall Street Journal but without the morning coffee.

    Tags: ba99 heli11

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