NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


August 6, 2008

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a Go Team to investigate a helicopter crash in a remote wooded area about 35 miles northwest of Redding, California.  The Sikorsky S-61N (N612AZ) operated by the U.S. Department of Forestry, crashed at about 7:30 p.m. PDT last night during takeoff. A post-crash fire ensued.  Of the 13 people reported to be on-board, four suffered serious injuries; nine are unaccounted for and are presumed to be fatally injured.

NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Jim Struhsaker has been designated as Investigator-in-Charge. NTSB Board Member Kitty Higgins will serve as principal spokesman during the on-scene investigation. The Safety Board?s team includes two representatives from the Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance. Bridget Serchak will accompany the team as press officer.

Ms. Serchak may be reached on her cell phone (202-557-1350) when she arrives in California this evening.

NTSB Press Contacts:

202-557-1350 (Bridget Serchak, on site in California)
202-314-6100 (Washington)



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.