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Wed, Jun 06, 2012

Helicopter Does Double Duty As Diving Platform

But When They Find The Pilot, He Or She Will Likely Be In Hot Water

Video recorded on cell phones on Memorial Day could land the pilot of a helicopter in Tennessee in hot water. That's because he or she was recorded allowing people on a pontoon boat on Dale Hollow Lake  to climb onto the landing skids of the aircraft, and then fall from an altitude as high as 50 feet back into the water.

A story on television station WTVF-TV in Nashville, TN, shows the helicopter hovering just a few feet over the pontoon boat while one or two people at a time grabbed the skids and were carried skyward. The helicopter in the video appears to be a Robinson R44.

Several witnesses said the episode went on for about 20 minutes, and blocked that part of the lake so that other boats were not able to pass.

The helicopter's N number was visible on the video, and the station found that it was last registered to a company in Chattanooga, TN.

A spokesman for the Corps of Engineers said flying so low over lake over which it has jurisdiction without permission is a violation of federal law and punishable by a $5,000 fine or six months in prison.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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