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Overloading, Winds Contributed to Spanish Politician’s Crash

By James T. McKenna | July 18, 2007

Spanish accident investigators have concluded an opposition political leader’s helicopter crashed in 2005 because it was overloaded by more than 350 lb and may have lost tail-rotor effectiveness, according to press reports in Spain. The leader of the opposition Partido Popular, Mariano Rajoy, suffered minor injuries in the crash in Móstoles, Spain on Dec. 1, 2005. Investigators found the Bell Helicopter 206L4 was overloaded by 160 kg (352 lb). They also said the choice of a takeoff spot—a bullring—was a bad one and winds in the area may have led to a loss of tail-rotor effectiveness. The pilot, a substitute called in late, had only 94 hr in the L4.   For related news

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