GASTON, Ore. – A helicopter crashed in Gaston near Hagg Lake on Thursday morning after taking off, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
The pilot suffered minor arm and leg injuries in the crash, but was treated at the scene. He was the only one onboard the helicopter.
Debris from the crash, which happened in the vicinity of the Stimson Lumber Mill, spit out and caused damage to two nearby trucks. A large piece of metal flew through a cab of a Dodge pickup and landed about 150 feet away. And four men within 40 feet of the helicopter saw that it was in trouble and dove for cover behind a pickup truck, narrowly escaping being hit by flying debris when it crashed, the sheriff's office said.
The crash happened just after 8 a.m.
According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the pilot of the 1969 Bell 47G-3B-2 helicopter was trying to take off with a bucket of mosquito treatment that was suspended by cables underneath the helicopter. He was planning on dropping the treatment into log ponds.
The sheriff's office said the cables got tangled in helicopter's right landing gear. Witnesses said the helicopter made it about 20 feet into the air when it tipped to the side and crashed.
The helicopter was a total loss.
The FAA is investigating the crash.