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Two Ontario Men Die In R44

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.



Two Ontario men die in U.S. helicopter crash


* * * * DESERT CENTER, Calif. (AP-CP) -- Two southwestern Ontario men died Monday when the helicopter they were flying back to Canada crashed in an open field, their family said Wednesday.


Frank Verellen, 63, of Ridgetown and his brother-in-law Leo Straatman of Watford died in the crash, Verellen's wife Frieda said.


Officials in California were awaiting dental records to positively identify the men, Riverside County coroner's spokeswoman Maria Zamorez said.


"There were Canadian passports in the plane believed to belong to the men,'' Zamorez said.


The Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter took off at noon Monday from Torrance and went down at 2:38 p.m. off Interstate 10 near Blythe, 320 kilometres east of Los Angeles, said Lauren Peduzzi, a spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board.


The newly-purchased helicopter, registered to Zimmer Air Services Inc., was being flown to Zimmer's main base in Blenheim, Ont.


Verellen was an experienced pilot with over 7,500 flight hours in helicopters, company owner Paul Zimmer said Wednesday.


NTSB investigators moved the aircraft to a Palmdale facility for further inspection.


The family has been told it may be some time before the bodies arrive in Ontario, Frieda Verellen said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sorry to be bringing up this subject. But if anybody has any info on this accident it would be much appreciated. We have one and I don't like it from day one. The loss of a tail boom in windy conditions....I'm not liken it......PM me if you like also. Thanks

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