Pilot in Jiangxi died after helicopter hit high-voltage power line and crashed

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/31 16:50:37

Screenshot from video clips circulating online

A pilot in Longnan of East China's Jiangxi Province died after his helicopter crashed while he was routinely spraying insecticides over an orchard on Saturday. Video clips circulating online showed the helicopter crashed into the field with the cab seriously damaged.

The local emergency management bureau said the subsequent investigation showed the helicopter hit a high-voltage power line, resulting in the fatal incident, Jiangxi Emergency Broadcasting reported on Monday. 

The logo on the helicopter showed the aircraft was from a company named Xiang Wei General Aviation Co., which is located in Central China's Hunan Province and offers chartered flight services, medical rescue services, aerial photography, urban fire-fighting, aerial spraying and personal entertainment flights.

The company was not able to be contacted as of press time.

Manned helicopters are used to spray pesticides on large and contiguous farmlands, especially in certain areas where ground-based machines are not applicable, a Shanghai-based agro-tech expert told the Global Times.

"In agricultural operations, helicopters are flown at low altitudes and speeds in order to cover as much land area as possible. As such, high requirements are imposed on the pilots and aircraft due to multiple factors such as the wind, surrounding environment and load," Luan Ling, an associate professor from the College of Economics and Management of China Agricultural University, told the Global Times.

The complicated operations in which helicopters are flown and the fact that similar accidents happen almost every year have been major reasons to encourage the adoption of unmanned drones in agriculture field scenarios, as they are more controllable and safe, Luan noted.

Further investigation into the case is underway.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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