The SkyLife Bell 407 air ambulance helicopter departed from Porterville Airport at 6:52.  It crashed minutes later, halfway into its 50 mile flight to San Joaquin Hospital in Bakersfield.  The four aboard SkyLife Helicopter Crashwill killed, including the patient being transported.

The flying conditions at Porterville were acceptable.  Though it was dark, the weather was 3300 overcast,

Dr. Ken Gottlieb’s Cessna 182 took off from Napa Airport with only Dr. Gottlieb aboard. As the Cessna climbed from the runway, it turned in the wrong direction. It collided with high terrain just north of the airport. Dr. Gottlieb was killed on impact. His body was ejected and the aircraft exploded and burned.

The

Power lines can be virtually invisible from the air.  The trick to avoiding them is, paradoxically, not to try to find them.  Instead, the pilot should look for the towers from which they are strung.  Once the pilot has the towers in sight, he should choose one and fly directly over it, rather thaPike's Piaseckin between them. 

An instrument rating entitles a pilot to legally navigate an aircraft when the weather is bad enough that he can’t see outside.  A pilot who is not instrument-rated must always stay out of the clouds. If the weather is such that he can’t do that, he must stay on the ground.  

The training required to obtain an instrument rating is extensive.  In most cases, it takes a pilot longer and costs him more to obtain the rating than it did for him to get his pilot’s license in the first


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