HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A new report on the investigation into a deadly helicopter crash in Harrison County last month reveals none of the witnesses actually saw the crash.
The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board said multiple people were in contact with the helicopter from the ground during the controlled burn operation, but they only heard the accident happen.
The report stated, "According to a witness, seconds prior to the accident he observed the helicopter complete a 180 degree left turn to a northerly heading. About 7 seconds later he heard a sound that resembled an air hose being unplugged from a high pressure tank, which was followed by the helicopter impacting trees and then the ground."
The helicopter took off from Wiggins and had been operating at a low altitude over the controlled burn area for about 50 minutes prior to the accident.
NTSB investigators also gave a detailed description of what they found at the scene of the crash. The wreckage path was about 40 feet long, and several parts of the helicopter were found scattered around the wooded crash site.The report also indicates the cockpit and cabin were destroyed by flames.
As for the pilot of that flight, the NTSB reports Brandon Ricks was most recently medically certified by the FAA just 35 days before the crash. At that time, he had logged 8,000 hours of total flight experience.
Read the complete preliminary report from the NTSB here: http://shout.lt/0KGF