EDEN, N.C. (WGHP) — An investigation report, detailing a deadly helicopter crash in Eden last month, has been released.
The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. on April 28 near the intersection of South Edgewood Road and Rosewood Lane.
Two passengers in the helicopter were able to escape the wreckage and Rockingham County EMS made contact with them.
One passenger was taken by ambulance to UNC-Rockingham and the second passenger was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
The pilot was not immediately located.
The helicopter was engulfed in flames and firefighters worked to put the fire out.
Once the fire was out and the scene was safe to approach, responders found the pilot of the helicopter dead.
Preliminary Federal Aviation data showed the helicopter left the steam station patrolling the transmission powerlines to the north then returned on the west side of the powerlines heading south.
As the helicopter approached the intersection of the north/south and east/west powerlines, the pilot began to reverse course by turning to the right. As the helicopter turned right, witnesses reported hearing a “pop” followed by the helicopter descending until it hit a tree.
A lineman onboard the helicopter seated in the forward left seat said the pilot was reversing course, and the helicopter was in a banking turn to the right, when he heard a very loud noise “almost cannon like. Very deep. Within a second or two, we were heading into the trees.”
Bystanders near the steam station saw the crash. One witness driving west saw the helicopter cross the road heading south and flying low over the trees along the powerlines. The helicopter made a right turn before it disappeared behind trees.
Two other witnesses saw the helicopter flying from east to west over the trees before making a steep left turn. The witnesses said they could see the underside of the helicopter and skids before it “slid at an angle downward and disappeared into the woods.”
The helicopter came to rest on the right side of the fuselage about 393 feet from the powerlines at an elevation of about 570 feet. All major components of the helicopter were accounted for at the crash site.
The full report is provided below: