2 Oregon Helicopter Executives Indicted in Crash

A federal indictment accuses two men of falsifying the weight and takeoff power of a helicopter that crashed in Northern California more than four years ago, killing nine people.

The 25-page indictment released Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland names the former vice president and the maintenance chief of Carson Helicopters Inc., based in Grants Pass, Ore.

Steven Metheny of Central Point and Levi Phillips of Grants Pass are charged with conspiracy, fraud and endangering the safety of an aircraft. The Justice Department says the pair submitted false information to win more than $20 million in contracts for seven helicopters, including the one that crashed.

The crash killed nine men, including seven contract firefighters with Grayback Forestry of Merlin.