“A veteran Colorado pilot known for helping the local sheriff’s department with helicopter rescues was killed Monday after his chopper [Bell 206] tangled in power lines and crashed near rural Silt. Doug Sheffer, owner of DBS Helicopters based in nearby Rifle, was among three people killed around 11:18 a.m. during a survey of power lines for a local energy company, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The other two dead have yet to be publicly identified after the crash, which killed everyone aboard some 180 miles west of Denver. ‘He was certainly a top-notch pilot and good friend, and was instrumental in a lot of search and rescue efforts,’ Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario told the newspaper. ‘Because of Doug we were able to rescue many people that we might not otherwise have been able to.’ The helicopter was registered to DBS Helicopters in Rifle, about eight miles west of Silt. Monday was the first day the company was to take representatives from Holy Cross Energy to survey 250 miles of power lines this week, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The poles are reportedly 50 feet tall, the newspaper reported, and the helicopter was expected to fly 30 feet above the lines anywhere up to 40 miles per hour. The survey, beginning in DeBeque, was expected to go through Wednesday.” (Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/3-dead-helicopter-crash-rural-western-colorado-article-1.1592977).
“The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said the crash occurred at around 11:20 a.m. near Dry Hallow Road — about 2 miles off Interstate 70. The helicopter crashed when it struck power lines while performing survey work for a power company, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Walt Stowe said witnesses saw the crash and drove to the scene to help, but all three occupants were dead. Stowe said the crash debris was in a tight area, no more than 50-feet wide. ‘The terrain is kind of hilly, ravines and draws’ covered by sage brush, Stowe said. A deputy is guarding the crash site until National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials arrive. Kenitzer says a preliminary report will likely be completed by the NTSB in the next week or two.” (Source: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/3-killed-in-helicopter-crash-near-silt01272014).
We at Pilot Law extend our sympathies and condolences to the victims of this crash. We have a lot of experience in handling cases such as this and will continue to independently investigate the possible causes of this terrible accident. As always, we are available for a free consultation with anyone who may wish to pursue claims on their behalf or on behalf of a loved one.