Wallingford, CT. – September 8, 1984

Wallingford, Connecticut – September 8, 1984 

     On September 8, 1984, the American Helicopter Association was holding an annual picnic at the former Mountainside Outing Club in Wallingford.  The association is a professional organization for those connected to the helicopter industry.  Some of those attending arrived in helicopters.

     One helicopter, a Bell 206 Jetranger, with a pilot and three passengers, arrived from Garden City, Long Island.  The aircraft had been loaned to the pilot by the chairman of the company which owned it.  

     After attending the event, the helicopter took off at about 4:30 p.m. to return to Garden City.  Just after takeoff, the pilot began to make a long low circle over the club area.  While doing so the left pontoon of the helicopter struck some high voltage power lines strung over a hilly wooded area.  Witnesses reported that the aircraft was at about 50 feet when the pilot took sudden evasive action to avoid the powerlines, but caught the top-most line.  The craft dove into the ground killing all aboard.    

     Neighbors living in the area told reporters that they’d been concerned about the power lines because there were no marker lights indicating their presence, and they are virtually invisible when looking up the mountain with foliage behind them.    


     Providence Sunday Journal, “Helicopter Strikes Utility Wires, Kills 4”, September 9, 1984, page A-1

     The Sun, (Westerly, R.I.), “Helicopter Crash Takes Four Lives”, September 9, 1984, page 10

      The Sun, (Westerly, R.I.), “Pilot’s Evasive Move Recalled By Witness”, September 10, 1984, page 8


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