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Official: 'Helicopter exploded on impact', 2 dead


Baxter County Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Fischer told a Bulletin reporter on the scene of a deadly helicopter crash near the Norfork Dam that it appears the helicopter "exploded on impact." Two people are confirmed dead. Their identities have not been revealed. Officials said it appears there were only two people aboard the helicopter. Officials have not said who the helicopter belongs to.


Authorities suspect the chopper may have struck one of the high-voltage transmission lines that come up from the dam. The crash, first reported at around 9:30 this morning, knocked out power to about 2,500 people in an area from Viola to Norfork Lake, including Gamaliel.


Several area fire departments, ambulance crews and law enforcement agencies are at the scene. The Bulletin also has a news crew at the scene reporting updates.


Officials are not sure if a power outage will be required to repair the line.


Helicopter crash in Baxter County kills two


Associated Press - July 15, 2008 12:34 PM ET


SALESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration says two people are dead after a helicopter crashed near the Norfork Dam.


Baxter County sheriff's deputies say they received the first call about the downed helicopter just before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. FAA spokesman Roland Herwig says the Hughes Model 269B is owned by Ozark Mountain Helicopters LLC, a tour company based out of Branson, Mo.


A manager at Ozark Mountain Helicopters confirmed it was 1 of his helicopters Tuesday, but declined to comment further.


Officials say Arkansas Game & Fish Commission officers are responding with off-road vehicles to reach the scene of the crash, on the far side of Norfork Dam in the Overlook Estates area. Deputies say black smoke from the crash could be seen from a distance.


Salesville is about 10 miles southwest of Mountain Home in northern Arkansas.


posted by Richard







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Knew the pilot and his family very well......stayed at their house several times, went to HeliExpo with him, great guy. He owned a very successful commercial masonary company, but always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. Got into it, bought a helicopter and started using it for his business 4-5 yrs ago--eventually got into tours with a R44 and powerline patrol with the Hughes. He was living his dream.


RIP Jim, you will be missed.

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