GASTON, Ore. — A helicopter spraying mosquito repellent over several ponds on the Stimson Lumber Company property crashed on Thursday morning. The pilot received only minor injuries to his head and arm.
The Washington County Sheriff’s department says four mill workers on the ground could see the chopper begin to tilt to one side 20′ into the air. They ran to take cover on the other side of a pick-up truck. It’s a good thing they did because the helicopter left a debris field for 150′. Pieces of debris were described as being as large as sledge hammers.
The FAA is investigating the cause. It’s believed the cable holding the bucket with repellent got tangled up with the aircraft. Stimson Lumber leased the helicopter for the spraying project.