Preliminary Report Released on Helicopter Crash

The NTSB released a preliminary report about the helicopter crash that occurred last Saturday.

The pilot, who has landed at this helipad on numerous occasions, said the approach was normal until he got closer to the helipad.  He said he felt  that he was going too fast, and so he decided to abort the approach.  When the pilot pulled the control lever , the helicopter entered a rapid right turn and he couldn't regain control of the chopper.  He described the turn as "violent" and that it was the fastest he had ever spun in a helicopter.

The pilot recalled the helicopter spinning at least five times before impacting the ground.  After the impact, the chopper quickly filled up with smoke. The pilot then used his helmet to break out the window.  When asked what he thought caused the helicopter to spin to the right so quickly, he replied, "I don't know."

Waurika shooting victim Buddy Rhodes and Air Evac flight nurse Leslie Stewart died as a result of the crash, while two other crew members remain in the hospital.

To leave a message of support and hope in the wake of this tragic event, go to our Facebook page and participate in "Condolences for Leslie."