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The State | IN BRIEF / SACRAMENTO

State Won't Rehire Helicopter Company

November 21, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

The California Department of Forestry won't renew a contract with the company that employed two pilots killed in a midair collision while fighting a Mendocino County wildfire.

A spokesman said the agency had launched an investigation of San Joaquin Helicopters before the August crash near Hopland that killed Larry Groff, 55, of Windsor, and Lars Stratte, 45, of Redding.

"There are a number of incidents which raised enough safety and performance concerns to justify awarding the contract to another company," agency spokesman Louis Blumberg said.

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