UPDATE: FAA investigation reveals helicopter pilot hit telephone wire before crashing
A helicopter pilot taking people on a sightseeing tour of the Cheat River hit a telephone wire before crashing into a river in Parsons last month, an NTSB Aviation Accident Preliminary Report found.
The pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries and a third passenger sustained serious injuries, the accident report said.
The pilot said he was flying in the river basin when he rounded a bend and hit the telephone wire, investigators said. The pilot also told investigators he had flown along the Cheat River before, typically above the wires, but never noticed the specific wires he hit.
The helicopter crashed into about five feet of water with the cable wrapped around the main rotor, the FAA said.
"The tail rotor was sheared off and the tail boom was located about 50 ft downriver from the main wreckage," an FAA inspector found.
The Robinson R44 helicopter was manufactured in 2014. It was registered to and operated by Ali Co., according to the accident report.
According to Tucker County 911 officials, the crash happened around 12 this morning in Tucker County. Officials say the helicopter crashed into the Cheat River near Licking Creek Road.
They say two people were airlifted to the hospital while the other was taken by ambulance. The FAA is on the scene and there is no word on injuries at this time.
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