Chopper crashes in Borneo jungle, killing American pilot
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: A helicopter used for aerial timber-extraction crashed while on logging operations in the mountainous interior of ulu Baram in northern Sarawak, killing its American pilot and seriously injuring his co-pilot.
Captain William Charles Scott, 51, from Woodlands, United States, died when the heavy-duty Erickson-Aircrane chopper crashed in a timber concession zone belonging to a local timber giant. His body is still in the wreckage.
The incident site is located between Long Pelutan and Long Banga some 350kms inland from here.
His co-pilot David Bergin, 49, also from the United States, suffered serious injuries when the helicopter went out of control at about 6pm on Friday.
Baram MP Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan confirmed the incident on Saturday.
''The survivor was taken to a private hospital in Miri this morning.
''The Baram police have deployed a team of investigators to the site to find out what had happened.
''The area is very deep into the jungles. There are two timber companies operating there now. It is very hilly and some parts are very difficult to reach,'' he said when contacted.
The helicopter is equipped with an air-crane that is used for hauling huge timber logs that can weigh up to five tonnes each. The Erickson-Aircrane, in operations since 1971, is currently being widely used for log-extractions in the forests of United States and Canada.
Malaysia is also a major user of this type of aerial heli-logger.
The helicopter can also be used for aerial fire-fighting.