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August xx, 2005

A Copterline helicopter crashed into the sea near Tallinn

A Copterline helicopter on its normal route between Helsinki and Tallinn crashed into the sea near Tallinn today. Inside were 12 passengers and two crew members. Copterline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of possible victims.

The flight from Tallinn to Helsinki departed on schedule at 12.30 pm. According to yet unconfirmed information from the National Board of Aviation, the connection was lost at 12.40 after which the helicopter fell into the sea. The crash took place in horizontal flight, at normal altitude. The weather at the crash area was windy but quite normal and safe for a helicopter. The company has no knowledge of the cause of the crash or the course of events.

The helicopter was an American Sikorsky S76C+ and it was built in 2000. The model is one of the most used and safest ones in the world. It has two engines and can be flown and landed safely by using only one of them. It also has two emergency pontoons for landing on water. The helicopter was last inspected on 9th of August, 2005 and no faults were detected. The last 50 fly hour service had been carried out on July 21st, 2005 in Finland. The annual service was carried out on June 20th, 2005. The helicopter had 6253 flying hours before the crash.

The captain of the helicopter was an extremely experienced 41-year-old former captain of a frontier guard rescue helicopter, who has been serving at the Finnish Frontier Guard for over 20 years. The copilot was a 57-year-old, extremely experienced professional which had been with Copterline since 1995. Both pilots had effective helicopter pilot licences, which met every licence condition.

The personal information of the passengers can not be released. There were six Finnish, four Estonian and two American passengers on board. Both pilots were Finnish.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes that all information requests by the families would be made to the Central Police, phone number 09-8388 6766.

www.copterline.fi


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