CHELAN, Wash. (AP) — The pilot killed in a helicopter crash as he worked to dry rain off a Washington cherry orchard has been identified as a 22-year-old Indianapolis man.
The Chelan County sheriff’s office said Tuesday that Coroner Wayne Harris has determined Stephen W. Nelson died of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation in Monday’s crash north of Chelan.
The sheriff’s office says Nelson was flying for Golden Wings of Brewster, working above an orchard owned by Apple Eye Orchard, when his helicopter caught power lines, crashed and burned.
Helicopters hover low to dry the moisture off the cherries, which can split after hard rains in warm weather.
The Wenatchee World says the crash is the second this month of a helicopter being used to dry cherries. No one was seriously hurt in a July 12 crash near Malaga.