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Sheriff: Fla. Man Dead In Ore. Helicopter Crash

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File photo of a police car.  (Credit: Comstock/Thinkstock)

File photo of a police car. (Credit: Comstock/Thinkstock)

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon sheriff says a 54-year-old Florida man is dead after a private logging helicopter crashed Monday afternoon at a national forest logging site near Detroit, Ore.

Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller identified the sole person aboard as the pilot, William Bart Colantuono of Indialantic, Fla.

Witnesses say the Bell UH1B helicopter had just picked up a load of logs when they heard a loud snapping sound and the logs hit the ground. They say it appeared the pilot released the logs electronically. Witnesses told deputies they saw a rotor separate from the helicopter. Then it turned upside down and crashed.

The sheriff says the helicopter is owned by Umatilla Lift Services of the same Florida city.

The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been notified.

Detroit is southeast of Salem.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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