Six folks had been killed, the authorities stated, when a helicopter being flown throughout a reunion for lovers of historic plane crashed on Wednesday night in Logan County, W.Va.
The helicopter got here down on Route 17 close to Blair Mountain, stated Sonya Porter, the deputy director of the Logan County Workplace of Emergency Administration. The mountainous space within the southern a part of the state is called Kelly Hole.
Ms. Porter was undecided what might need triggered the crash.
“On the time the crash occurred, I feel the climate was clear,” she stated.
The plane was a Bell UH-1B helicopter manufactured in 1962, in keeping with the Federal Aviation Administration. Ray Bryant, who was on the scene of the crash and is the chief of operations for the Logan Emergency Ambulance Service Authority, stated its tail quantity was N98F.
The N98F helicopter is owned by Marpat Aviation, which was holding an annual reunion this week for “Huey” helicopters, a nickname for the plane. Its web site stated folks might make a reservation to fly the helicopter with out being a pilot.
Flying the helicopter for half-hour required a $250 donation to pay for gas, in keeping with the web site, whereas others might journey alongside by making a small donation. The helicopter that crashed had been used through the Vietnam Struggle and seems in films together with “Die Onerous,” “The Rock” and “Baywatch.”
Mike Holbrook, the proprietor and operator of Marpat Aviation, didn’t return a name requesting remark. Two individuals who answered telephone numbers linked with the corporate hung up on a reporter.
The helicopter, which had taken off from Logan County Airport, crashed into the roadway and guardrail of a rural two-lane street, Mr. Bryant stated. He stated that the helicopter was nonetheless on hearth when he arrived, and that in his 35 years with the county’s emergency companies, he had seen “no crashes of this magnitude.”
One lady stated she ran as rapidly as attainable to the scene after the crash, ducking below the guardrail. “I went as much as the helicopter, however the hearth was simply so sizzling, so intense,” the girl, Bobbi Childs, informed WSAZ-3, a tv station in Huntington.
The FAA and the Nationwide Transportation Security Board will examine the crash. The victims’ names haven’t been publicly launched.