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Inquiry Begins Into Fatal Helicopter Crash Near Coalinga



Steven Wilson, 53, of Shafter died in the crash of this 1967 Bell UH-1H helicopter near Harris Ranch. (Fresno County SO)
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Federal investigators have begun an inquiry into what caused a helicopter to crash near Coalinga, killing pilot Steven Wilson, 53, of Shafter.

Late Tuesday night, American West Aviation Inc., a crop dusting company, reported that it hadn’t heard from Wilson.

Shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday, one of the company’s crop-dusting planes spotted a yellow helicopter in an orchard near South Sonoma and West Chandler avenues, Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.

Deputies went to the scene near Harris Ranch and determined it was the missing helicopter, a 55-year-old Bell UH-1H.

Wilson was the helicopter’s lone occupant.


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