The N98F helicopter belongs to Marpat Aviation. This week, the company held its annual reunion for “Huey” helicopters, which is what people call them. On its website, it said that people who weren’t pilots could make a reservation to fly the helicopter.
On the website, to pay for the fuel, it cost $250 to fly the helicopter for 30 minutes, while others could ride along for a small donation. The helicopter that crashed had been used in the Vietnam War and has been in movies like “Die Hard,” “The Rock,” and “Baywatch.”
Mike Holbrook, who owns and runs Marpat Aviation, didn’t answer the phone when we called him for comment. A reporter called two company phone numbers and was cut off by both people.
Mr. Bryant said that after taking off from Logan County Airport, the helicopter crashed into the road and guardrail of a two-lane country road. He said that when he got there, the helicopter was still on fire and that in the 35 years he had been working for the county’s emergency services, he had never seen “a crash of this size.”
One woman said that after the crash, she ran as fast as she could to the scene by ducking under the guardrail. The woman, Bobbi Childs, told WSAZ-3, a TV station in Huntington, that she tried to get to the helicopter but couldn’t because the fire was so hot and strong.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will look into what happened. The names of the victims have not been made public.