6 killed in Huey helicopter crash in West Virginia

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Six people were killed after a Vietnam-era helicopter crashed while touring West Virginia on Wednesday night, authorities said.

The Bell UH-1B helicopter, known as “Huey,” crashed around 5 p.m. on a country road in Logan County, Virginia, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The helicopter crashed near Mount Blair in a mountainous area of ​​the state.

Ray Bryant, chief of operations for Logan’s Emergency Management Authority, said the plane was used to launch tourist flights around the region. WSAZ. The helicopter, owned by Marbat Air, was part of an annual gathering this week for fans of the historic Huey.

The names of the victims were not released, but Bryant made it clear to local media that they were not from the area.

Authorities said the cause of the crash was not yet clear. The Logan County Office of Emergency Management export Severe thunderstorm watched the county at the time of the accident.

“After first responders arrived at the scene, they were later able to confirm that six people were killed in the accident,” Sonya Porter, deputy director of the Logan County Office of Emergency Management, told The Washington Post.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have announced that they are investigating the accident. NTSB He said That she was sending a team of five detectives and a family assistant specialist to the crash site.

Mike Holbrook, owner and operator of Marbat Aviation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday.

The Bell UH-1B helicopter was built in 1962 and was used during the Vietnam War, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The crashed Huey has also appeared in several films, including “Die Hard,” “The Rock,” and “Baywatch.”

Huey’s seventh annual reunion began on Tuesday and was scheduled to run through Sunday, it was reported Marpat . site. The site says historical aircraft enthusiasts can make a reservation at the airport in Logan County to fly the helicopter without being a pilot. A donation of $250 was needed for those wishing to travel for 30 minutes to help cover the fuel. Those who want to ride can do so by donating a small amount.

“We want all helicopter enthusiasts (especially Huey) to have the opportunity to fly/ride in this historic helicopter,” the website says.

Porter told The Post that in addition to the Huey reunion, the Logan City Freedom Festival was also happening.

“I don’t know if they were participating in those events or where they came from,” she said.

When crews arrived at Route 17 near Kelly Hollow shortly after the accident, the helicopter was still ablaze, Bryant told WSAZ. Authorities indicated that the front of the helicopter appeared to have crashed through a protective barrier and onto the slope of the hill. Bryant told local media that one of the helicopter’s owners had arrived at the scene, but did not specify whether it was Holbrook.

“Everyone in our county is saddened by this happening, and they are dazed by the incident,” Porter said. West Virginia Metro News.

Governor Jim Justice (RW.Va.) chirp He and his wife, Kathy, “pray for the families of those killed in this tragic helicopter crash.”

The road is temporarily closed, it is not clear when it will reopen, WCHS mentioned.

Eyewitnesses recounted the severity of the fire after the accident. Bobby Childs, who lives about a mile from where the helicopter crashed, told WSAZ that she saw at least one person trapped in the plane as the flames passed.

“I ran as fast as I could and went under the railing and got into the helicopter,” Childs said. “But the fire was too hot, too intense, and this guy didn’t get out of there.”