Vietnam War-era helicopter crashes in West Virginia: Everything to know
- The helicopter went down in Logan County, near West Virginia's border with Kentucky
- Crews arrived at the scene and found the helicopter in flames
- All six people on board were declared dead
Six people have died after a Vietnam War-era helicopter crashed and caught fire in southwest West Virginia Wednesday evening, authorities said.
The helicopter went down in Logan County, near West Virginia's border with Kentucky, Ray Bryant, Logan Emergency Management Authority chief of operations, told USA TODAY.
Crews arrived at the scene and found the helicopter in flames.
“The cockpit of the aircraft is burned up,” Bryant told WOWK-TV, a television station in Huntington, Virginia. “The tail boom is lying across the road. It is recognizable, we knew it was a local helicopter.”
All six people on board were declared dead. The identities of the victims are yet to be revealed.
According to reports, the tourist helicopter used in Hollywood movies was part of a vintage show where guests without pilot licenses were allowed to fly the aircraft. The helicopter had previously appeared in movies including Baywatch, Die Hard and Outbreak.
According to the events page, guests at the Marpat Aviation school in Logan county could pay $250 to fly the helicopter for a 30-minute session.
Bobbi Childs, who lives about a mile from the crash site, told local news station WSAZ-TV she called 911 after seeing the helicopter in flames.
"I ran as fast as I could go and I went under the guardrail and I went up to the helicopter," she told the station. "But the fire was just so hot, so intense."
The aircraft was a Bell UH-1B – a military helicopter that uses a single turboshaft engine – helicopter, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
The aircraft first flew in 1956 and was used in the Vietnam War. T
"Cathy and I are praying for the families of those killed in this tragic helicopter crash," West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said on Twitter.
Logan County Emergency Management Services, the Logan County Fire Department, West Virginia State Police and the Logan County Sheriff's Department were among the agencies that responded to the scene, Bryant said.
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The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, the FAA said in a statement. The NTSB said on Twitter it sent a team of five investigators to the crash site.