China's First GA Fly-In Postponed
The first-ever general aviation fly-in in China, which was set for later this month, has been postponed indefinitely, according to AOPA. The event was scheduled for Sept. 22 to 24, with about 20 privately owned helicopters from around the country expected to gather at an airport outside Beijing. However, a helicopter operated by the Beijing Police Department crashed last month into a reservoir near the fly-in site, killing four of the five people on board. AOPA China said the crash drew "attention and safety concerns from the public and the authorities," and the ongoing investigation has raised questions about whether the airspace will continue to be accessible. The first-ever AOPA Summit in China, which is scheduled to take place the same weekend in Beijing, will go on as scheduled.
The Agusta-Westland AW139 helicopter was operated by a new police aviation unit that had been formed just a month earlier, according to NBAA, and was returning to home base after search-and-rescue training. The fly-in events were scheduled to include sightseeing aerial tours of the reservoir where the crash occurred. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.