Taipei--A helicopter that crashed in Hualien County, killing all three on board, including acclaimed Taiwanese documentary director Chi Po-lin (???), had been in service for more than 15 years, according to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA),
The helicopter, flight No. B31118, belonged to Emerald Pacific Airlines (????) and was the oldest of three Bell 206B-3 helicopters operated by the company, having rolled off the production line on Nov. 23, 2001.
Aviation authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.
Emerald Pacific Airlines, founded in 1994 and based in Taichung, is mainly contracted to clean cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines.
The airline also provides professional aerial filming services and helped with the filming of the 2013 documentary film "Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above" (????), directed by Chi, which won best documentary at the 50th Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan's equivalent to the Academy Awards.
The chopper crashed on Saturday while engaged in aerial filming the sequel of "Beyond Beauty.
The airline has had four other crashes prior to Saturday's, mostly involving the same type of choppers.
On Nov. 29, 1999, a Hiller UH-12 helicopter flying along the Kaoping River en route to spraying pesticide on banana farms in Pingtung crashed at the river dam catchment area. The pilot was killed.
On Sept. 3, 2001, a Bell 206B-3 helicopter crashed after becoming tangled in power lines when clearing cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines for Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), killing two on board.
On Dec. 18, 2014, a Bell 206B-3 chopper was clearing cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines for Taipower when it suddenly lost power. The pilot made an emergency landing and two on board suffered minor injuries.
On Nov. 22, 2015, a Bell 206B-3 crashed when clearing cap and pin insulators on high-voltage transmission lines for Taipower; two on board were killed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel