Pilot killed in helicopter crash in Japan

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Pilot killed in helicopter crash in Japan

A helicopter was found crashed in Hiroshima Prefecture on Aug. 15, and a man believed to be the pilot was confirmed dead after being taken to a hospital, prefectural police said.

Police said the helicopter was found near Oda River south of the Senyo Dam in the town of Jinsekikogen at about 5: 30 p.m. on Aug. 15. The man believed to be the pilot was found nearby.

An Aerospatiale AS 350-B helicopter went missing after taking off from a temporary heliport in the Ehime Prefecture town of Kamijima at around 1: 15 p.m. on Aug. 15, and authorities had been searching for it. The helicopter was due to land at another temporary helipad in Jinsekikogen about 30 minutes later, according to flight plans. The police believe it is the one that crashed, based on the helicopter's markings.

The plane plans stated that there was one person aboard, and the helicopter carried about two hours worth of fuel. The purpose of the flight was listed as an internal company flight. The Japan Transport Safety Board sent two aircraft accident investigators to the scene on Aug. 16. The investigators were expected to reach the area near the Senyo Dam in the afternoon.

The helicopter was operated by the Jinsekikogen-based nonprofit organization Peace Winds Japan, which is involved in disaster rescues.

A 69-year-old Jinsekikogen resident appeared shocked by the accident. She said that she learned about the crash from the commotion with the search. Peace Winds Japan helicopters often fly around here. The prefectural police said that it was unlikely that anyone else had been caught up in the accident, as the helicopter crashed in the mountains and there were no homes in the vicinity.