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B.A.T. Loses its Helicopter

3 Killed as Robinson R44 Crashes While on Extended Lease to Jakarta Air Operator.

Bali News:
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3 people lost their lives on Tuesday, March 3, 2003, when a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed while attempting a landing on the rooftop helipad of Jakarta's Sahid Jaya Hotel.

The accident, which occurred during the midday period, claimed the lives of its pilot and representatives of the companies who chartered the aircraft and supervised its marketing as a metropolitan air taxi. While the cause of the accident is still under official investigation, the helicopter reportedly fell from the 23-storey helipad while coming in for a landing, falling down the side of the building and coming to rest on the hotel's 3rd floor swimming pool. All the occupants of the helicopter were reportedly dead at the scene of the disaster with no injuries reported to guests or employees of the Hotel. Press reports indicate that strong gusts of winds were reported in the landing area just prior to the crash.

The aircraft is owned by Bali Adventure Tours (B.A.T.) -a well-known Bali-based operator of outdoor and adventure travel products who flew the aircraft without major incident for two years serving local tours in Bali. The sudden downturn in tourist arrivals following the October bombing in Bali compelled B.A.T. to seek other employment for the helicopter entering into a long-term "dry lease" with a Jakarta air taxi operator - Air Trans. Under a "dry lease" agreement Air Trans assumed full responsibility for the fueling, maintenance, and crewing of the helicopter whose livery colors had already been changed to reflect its current operator prior to Tuesday's tragic mishap.

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