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Robinson 44 Helicopter

Robinson 44 Helicopter

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Home Page >> News Articles >> Commercial Helicopter Crash in Maryland,..Commercial Helicopter Crash in Maryland, Four Die July 24, 2009.

By Gordon GibbSmithsburg, MD: Four people are dead after a helicopter crash into a highway about 10:30pm Thursday night, according to emergency officials in reports carried this morning on and the Associated Press (AP).

It was confirmed that there were four occupants in the Robinson 44 helicopter and that all four had died.

The helicopter crash occurred in Western Maryland along Interstate 70 in Washington County.

According to emergency personnel the doomed aircraft did not strike any cars when it collided into the highway, although the interstate was open at the time.

The highway was closed immediately following the crash, and did not re-open until about 5am eastern time this morning, allowing for emergency officials to conduct a thorough investigation overnight.

So far there is no indication as to what caused the helicopter to go down.

The occupants were not identified.

The Associated Press carried a report that suggested there was fog in the area at the time of the crash, with limited visibility.

"When emergency personnel; arrived," said Kevin Lewis, identified by and AP as director of county emergency services, "they found a small aircraft, a Robinson 44 helicopter, with four passengers.

"I can confirm four fatalities on site as the result of the crash." According to a report carried by the Associated Press the aircraft burst into flames when it hit the ground.

Officials arriving at the scene found the helicopter engulfed in flames.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records list the owner of the four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter as Marsan Aviation Inc., of Wilmington, Delaware.

Lewis said a witness saw the craft flying low when a bright arc of electricity flashed in the air, apparently caused by the helicopter striking a power line.

It wasn't clear if the craft was already on its way down when it hit the lines.

"The witness basically saw a large arc at which point the helicopter crashed onto the interstate," Lewis said.

Before seeing the arc, the witness thought the helicopter might have been trying to land along the roadway." The crash site is located near Smithsburg, about 10 miles east of Hagerstown.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was at the scene together with the FAA.

The NTSB indicated it would conduct a media briefing this morning at the Hagerstown Regional Airport.[READ MORE Helicopter Crash ARTICLES]
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