Helicopter has near-miss with lighthouse in western France

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A helicopter narrowly avoided a lighthouse off the coast of Bretagne, western France, where it was about to deliver equipment for maintenance. 

On July 6, 2022, a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter belonging to Mont Blanc Hélicoptères Bretagne was transporting crates to La Vieille lighthouse, located less than two kilometers off the Pointe du Raz.  

The lighthouse was undergoing maintenance by personnel from the French lighthouse and beacon service (Phares et Balises) in charge of maintaining the navigation aid devices set up along the coasts of France and overseas. 

For unknown reasons, the AS350 began spinning out of control as it approached the tower. CCTV footage shows the helicopter diving down before releasing a significant amount of smoke. As the aircraft recovered, the emergency flotation system was triggered. 

One person was injured and had to be airlifted by another helicopter, according to local publication 20 Minutes. An internal investigation was opened by the French Ministry of the Sea to determine the reasons for this incident. 

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