Jan. 8, Mineral Wells, Texas / Bell 206


At 14:20 central time, a Bell 206B struck trees and terrain near Mineral Wells, killing the pilot. The helicopter was owned and operated by S-TEC Corp. of Mineral Wells and was being used to develop a helicopter autopilot system. The operator said the autopilot contained a rotary and a linear servo, but one of the servos had been removed and reinstalled during the previous 30 days, during which time the pilot had not flown the helicopter.


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