Witness to helicopter crash reports abrupt rotor tilt
HICKORY, Ky. (AP) – A Tennessee Valley Authority lineman who witnessed a fatal helicopter crash in western Kentucky this month has told investigators he saw the main rotor tilt abruptly just before the helicopter banked right and fell to the ground.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports the witness described the impact as very hard, with no sliding or bouncing, and saw the rotor blades break apart.
Kentucky State Police previously identified the pilot who was killed as John R. Love of Maryville, Tennessee. The NTSB preliminary report said the pilot was 58 years old and recently reported more than 18,000 total hours of flight experience.
The crash happened July 11 in Graves County at TVA’s Mayfield Customer Service Center. The NTSB said the flight originated in Clarksville, Tennessee, where the pilot refueled.