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The pilot of a 1967 Bell UH-1H helicopter that crashed in Fresno County has been identified as 53 year old Steven Wilson of Shafter, CA.

Late Tuesday night, American West Aviation Inc., a crop dusting company, contacted the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office to report it had not heard from the pilot of one of its helicopters. Deputies responded to the area south of Five Points to conduct a search, due to this being a spot the pilot was supposed to be working.

Meanwhile, both the California Highway Patrol and the crop dusting company sent out airplanes to conduct searches of their own.

Shortly before 3:00 am, the crop dusting plane reported seeing a matching yellow helicopter down in some trees near S. Sonoma and W. Chandler, just outside Coalinga. Deputies arrived and determined it was the helicopter they had been looking for. The pilot and sole occupant was deceased.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have taken over the investigation to try and determine what lead to the crash.


Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
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