Horrific moment helicopter spins to the ground in Dallas after tail rotor broke off in mid-air causing fiery crash that killed two people on board
- WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES
- Two were killed in helicopter crash on Friday morning on the outskirts of Dallas
- Video shows the chopper’s tail rotor falling to earth after mid-air breakup
- Helicopter crashed in a vacant lot and there were no injuries on the ground
- But the pilot and another person aboard did not survive the fiery crash
Published: | Updated:
Two people were killed on Friday when a helicopter suffered a mid-air breakup near Dallas and came plunging to earth in a fiery crash.
The helicopter crashed about 11.30am into a vacant lot on a busy commercial strip along Texas 66 in Rowlett, killing the pilot and another person on board, but leaving no one on the ground injured.
Because the doomed chopper came down in a busy area during the lunch-hour rush, there were multiple witnesses, and video shows the aircraft’s tail rotor tumbling to earth separately from the body.
Police said the two victims were both adults and were not related to each other, but their identities have not been released pending notification of their families.
The body (right) and tail rotor (left) were seen falling to earth separately in this video taken by an eye-witness, which will prove valuable to NTSB and FAA officials investigating the crash
The helicopter crashed about 11.30am into a vacant lot on a busy commercial strip along Texas 66 in Rowlett, killing the pilot and another person on board
Bystanders attempted to render aide, but the fire raging in the wreckage made any rescue attempt impossible
The helicopter was owned by Sky Helicopters in Garland, and was on a training flight when it came down, according to KDFW-TV.
The private company offers helicopter tours of Dallas, flight training, and also contracts with several local television stations to provide aerial news coverage.
Sky Helicopters did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com on Friday afternoon.
FAA records show the chopper was a 2016 Robinson R-44 Rotorcraft, which retails for about about $475,000.
The R-44 is the best-selling civilian helicopter in the world, but has a long history of deadly crashes, according to a 2018 Los Angeles Times investigation. Privately held Robinson Helicopter company disputed those findings.
The body of the helicopter that crashed on Friday landed in an empty field surrounded by several businesses, while the tail section landed on a nearby storage business.
The main body landed in a vacant lot, just narrowly missing nearby businesses
Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter’s tail rotor break midair, sending the aircraft into an uncontrollable spin before it crashed and burst into flames
‘I heard an explosion, and a few seconds later, I saw the helicopter hit the ground. I jumped out, it was already in a ball of fire, I jumped out and tried to get him out, but it was too late,’ Philip Herndon told the local Fox affiliate.
Other bystanders attempted to render aide, but the fire raging in the wreckage made any rescue attempt impossible.
‘You could see people getting close, you could see them back away shielding themselves, because it was just so hot,’ John Rangle told the station.
‘It was nothing they could do to save them, unfortunately.’
Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter’s tail rotor break midair, sending the aircraft into an uncontrollable spin before it crashed and burst into flames, said Rowlett police Detective Cruz Hernandez.
The FAA interviewed witnesses on Friday afternoon and NTSB investigators are due to arrive early Saturday morning to survey the damage
No one else was reported injured in the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
The FAA interviewed witnesses on Friday afternoon and NTSB investigators are due to arrive early Saturday morning to survey the damage.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner removed the remains of the two victims from the burned wreckage.
The investigation continues.