MONROE, NC. Update on deadly helicopter crash.
There is new information about a deadly helicopter crash which claimed the life of a pilot.
Witnesses in Union County tell investigators they saw the chopper hit a power line before it crashed on January 22nd.
The National Transportation Safety Board is revealing new details of the accident in Monroe.
According to the report, one eyewitness looked up and saw the helicopter impact the power lines.
Next, he saw blue flashes of light and watched as the chopper slammed in to the ground.
Mark Bartlett was killed in the crash and his flight instructor, Justin Travis, was injured.
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(The following is the preliminary report from the National Travel Safety Board concerning the crash.)
NTSB Identification: ERA09LA139
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 22, 2009 in Monroe, NC
Aircraft: HUGHES OH-6A, registration: N4191A
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On January 22, 2009, about 1030 eastern standard time, a Hughes OH-6A, N4191A, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground after making contact with some high tension power lines near Monroe, North Carolina. The helicopter departed Monroe Regional Airport (EQY), Monroe, North Carolina about 1000. The commercial pilot was killed and the certificated flight instructor received serious injuries. The flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time for the local instructional flight and no flight plan was filed.
According to employees at the airport, the two pilots were planning on flying the helicopter from EQY to Columbia, South Carolina, however prior to the accident flight their plans had changed and they decided to remain in the local area and practice viewing power lines from the air. The helicopter was seen flying over downtown Monroe about 1010 and according to an eyewitness everything looked and sounded normal. Another eyewitness who saw the helicopter approximately 3 miles from the accident site stated that everything sounded normal, and he estimated the helicopters altitude as 100 feet above ground level. One eyewitness reported seeing the helicopter impact the power lines. This eyewitness stated that he was outside of his place of business when an employee drew his attention to the helicopter. He looked up, saw the helicopter impact the power lines, and then blue flashes of light. He then heard a boom, and watched the helicopter impact the ground.
The helicopter was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident site. The helicopter was lying on its left side beneath the overhead high tension power lines. The helicopter’s main rotor was separated from the fuselage and was approximately 75 feet away from the main wreckage. One blade was separated from the hub and was located forward of the main wreckage.
The accident helicopter was manufactured in 1967 for the military, and then on March 18, 1997, it was issued an FAA standard airworthiness certificate. On July 10, 2007 the helicopter was registered to the Charlotte Helicopter Flight Academy, which was owned by one of the accident pilots. The helicopter was equipped with an Allison 250-C10D, turbo-shaft engine. The engine data plate stated that the engine was overhauled in May of 1994 and at that time had 3,412 total hours of service.
The 1053 weather observation at EQY 4 miles west-northwest of the accident site, reported winds from 240 degrees at 5 knots, clear skies, 10 miles visibility, temperature 2 degrees Celsius (C), dew point minus 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.17 inches of mercury.
This article is courtesy of WBTV News.