Six die in crash of Vietnam-era helicopter used in Die Hard and The Rock

24 June 2022, 07:34

Emergency personnel look over the sight of a helicopter that crashed in Blair, West Virginia
Helicopter Crash West Virginia. Picture: PA

Everyone on board were killed, said Ray Bryant, chief of operations for the Logan County emergency ambulance service authority.

A Vietnam-era helicopter showcased in action movies crashed on a rural West Virginia road, killing all six people on board.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Bell UH-1B “Huey” aircraft crashed along Route 17 in Logan County at about 5pm on Wednesday.

Everyone on board were killed, said Ray Bryant, chief of operations for the Logan County emergency ambulance service authority.

The helicopter crashed in clear weather on a road near the local airport, he said.

“The entire cab of it was on fire,” Mr Bryant said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Emergency personnel look over the sight of a helicopter that crashed in Blair, West Virginia
Emergency personnel look over the sight of a helicopter that crashed in Blair, West Virginia (Chris Jackson/AP)

“It was recognised by the first responders as being a helicopter from this area because we see it a lot,” he said.

The crash happened during an annual reunion for helicopter enthusiasts at MARPAT Aviation in Logan.

It was scheduled to begin on Tuesday and end on Sunday, according to MARPAT’s website.

During the event, visitors could sign up to ride or fly the historic helicopter, described by organisers as one of the last of its kind still flying.

The helicopter was flown by the 114th Assault Helicopter Company, The Knights of the Sky, in Vinh Long, Vietnam, throughout much of the 1960s, according to MARPAT.

After the Huey returned to the US in 1971, the website says, it was featured in movies like Die Hard, The Rock and Under Siege: Dark Territory.

Neither reunion organisers nor MARPAT officials returned requests for a comment on Thursday.

The road was closed after the crash
The road was closed after the crash (Chris Jackson/AP)

Patty Belcher, who lives nearby, was driving to the shop when she came upon the crash.

“There was smoke so thick that you couldn’t hardly see nothing but smoke and flames,” she said by phone on Thursday.

“It was coming down the ditch line on the righthand side, and I said, ‘My God, I better turn around. It might catch this truck on fire.’ So I turned around and came back.”

The crash was near the Battle of Blair Mountain historic sites, where a deadly clash erupted a century ago as thousands of coal miners marched to unionise in West Virginia.

Bobbi Childs saw smoke and flames and got close enough to see a man who was trapped.

“I saw that there was a guy trapped, I guess the captain. I tried to get down to the door where he was at. You could see him plain as day. I tried to get to him, but the fire was too hot. I couldn’t get to him,” they told WOWK-TV.

The road was expected to remain closed for at least 24 hours. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Joe Biden

Biden declares ‘lives will be saved’ as he signs landmark gun legislation

Police gather at the site of a shooting in Oslo (Javad Parsa/NTB via AP)

Suspected terror-linked shooting in Oslo kills two and wounds 10

Activists from Oxfam wear giant heads depicting G7 leaders during a demonstration in Munich, Germany

Protesters gather as G7 leaders set to arrive in Germany

Russia Ukraine War

Russia pushes to block second city in eastern Ukraine

Two people were killed in a shooting in Oslo

Man charged with terrorist acts after mass shooting outside Oslo gay bar

Protests have taken place cross the US

Protests erupt as abortion clinics close across US after Roe v Wade overthrown

Police stand guard outside a bar in central Oslo

Man arrested following shooting in central Oslo which left two dead

Anti-abortion protesters rally at the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington

Abortion clinics begin closing after Supreme Court ruling

Biden Supreme Court Abortion

Joe Biden: Abortion rights ruling is ‘sad day for court and country’

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Judge makes jury’s 10.3 million dollar award official in Depp-Heard trial

Supreme Court

Governors announce ‘West Coast offence’ to protect abortion

Supreme Court Abortion

Right to abortion overturned by US Supreme Court

Spain Morocco Migrants

Five migrants killed and scores injured during bid to reach Spanish enclave

Turkey Wildfire

Wildfire close to Turkish resort ‘largely under control’

A goat set off a series of Russian booby traps in Ukraine (file image)

‘Goat of Kyiv’ leaves 40 Russians injured after setting off grenade booby trap

Brazil Amazon

Indigenous groups mourn Amazon expert killed alongside UK journalist