Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Helicopter used to dry cherries crashes and burns, pilot killed

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Chelan County sheriff's officers say a helicopter flying low to dry cherries in a northcentral Washington orchard hit power lines, crashed and burned, killing the pilot.

Lt. Maria Agnew says the pilot is believed to be a 24-year-old man but he was not immediately identified pending notification of relatives. Detective Sgt. Jerry Moore says the pilot was flying for a Brewster, Wash., company called Golden Wings.

The helicopter crashed Monday afternoon between Chelan and Manson. Moore says a witness reports the aircraft had just flown over a block of cherry trees and was turning to fly back when it hit power lines 40-50 feet above the ground. Helicopters hover low to dry the moisture off the cherries, which can split after hard rains in warm weather.

The pilot was alone in the aircraft.

The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.