Neighbors never heard a crash, but wondered if something was wro - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Neighbors never heard a crash, but wondered if something was wrong with helicopter

When the crash happened, firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service were burning 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest near the Harrison/Stone County line. (Photo source: WLOX) When the crash happened, firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service were burning 800 acres in the Desoto National Forest near the Harrison/Stone County line. (Photo source: WLOX)
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  • Details emerging about the helicopter that crashed in Harrison County

    Details emerging about the helicopter that crashed in Harrison County

    Tuesday, March 31 2015 2:59 PM EDT2015-03-31 18:59:56 GMT
    Tuesday, March 31 2015 5:44 PM EDT2015-03-31 21:44:58 GMT
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration's website, the helicopter that crashed in the Desoto National Forest Monday belonged to HLW Aviation out of Lumpkin, Georgia. The turbo-powered, single engine helicopter was built in 1980. It was last certified in 2011, and wasn't due for recertification until May, 2017.More >>
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration's website, the helicopter that crashed in the Desoto National Forest Monday belonged to HLW Aviation out of Lumpkin, Georgia. The turbo-powered, single engine helicopter was built in 1980. It was last certified in 2011, and wasn't due for recertification until May, 2017.
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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

There are only a handful of homes within a few miles of the site in Harrison County where a helicopter went down Monday afternoon killing two people on board and injuring a third.

Surprisingly, none of those who live nearby said they heard a loud noise or even knew a helicopter had crashed. Some did, however, say there was one thing they thought was kind of odd.

"The motor just didn't sound right," Howard Kaufman said.

Kaufman is a mechanic. He said the sound of the helicopter made him think something was not quite right.

"It's spitting and sputtering and we didn't hear any crashes or anything it was just smoke," Kaufman said.

Earnest Richardson Jr. also noticed the noise coming from the chopper monitoring the controlled burn.

"It was kind of sputtering and dropping a little bit and the way it was going, like I said I worked off shore a little bit and I've been on enough helicopters to know how they make their landings," Richardson said.

Richardson thought the helicopter made an emergency landing. No one expected the actual tragedy that had just unfolded.

"I never heard an explosion or a crash," Richardson said. "I never knew it went down like it did or I would have probably run out there as soon as I could have."

Minutes after the silence of the helicopter motor other frightening signals led neighbors to wonder if something might have gone terribly wrong.

"There was a lot of smoke over here," Emily Kaufman said. "Then about five, ten minutes later we heard the cars and ambulance and firefighters."

"I can't say it was from the crash, but you could smell the plastic, maybe it was the fiberglass from the aircraft," Howard Kaufman said.

The names of those killed in the accident will not be released until the autopsies are complete. Those are scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove did tell WLOX News one of the victims worked for the U.S. Forest Service.

At this time, no one has said what may have led to the crash.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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    Two people died Monday afternoon when a helicopter working a controlled burn crashed in Harrison County. Another person is in critical condition after being airlifted to USA Medical Center in Mobile, AL. Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said all three people were members of the U.S. Forest Service.More >>
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