Helicopter Crash in West Virginia Mountains Ends up killing 6 People

Six people were killed, the authorities said, when a helicopter being flown during a reunion for enthusiasts of historical aircraft crashed on Wednesday evening in Logan County, W.Va.

The helicopter came down on Route 17 near Blair Mountain, said Sonya Porter, the deputy director of the Logan County Office of Emergency Management. Kelly Hollow is the name of the hilly region in the state’s south.

The victims’ identities have not been released but were reportedly not from the area. According to Bryant, the helicopter is based at Logan Airport and is used for sightseeing flights. The airport declined requests for comment.

Ms. Porter was unsure of the possible causes of the collision.“At the time the crash occurred, I think the weather was clear,” she said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the helicopter was a Bell UH-1B manufactured in 1962. Its tail number was N98F, according to Ray Bryant, the chief of operations for the Logan Emergency Ambulance Service Authority, who was present at the scene of the collision.

Marpat Aviation, which owns the N98F helicopter, was hosting this week’s gathering of “Huey” helicopters, as the aircraft is known. According to its website, non-pilots could reserve a flight in the helicopter.

According to the website, flying the helicopter for 30 minutes costs a $250 donation to cover gasoline, while others may ride along by making a smaller gift. The helicopter that crashed had been used during the Vietnam War and appears in movies including “Die Hard,” “The Rock” and “Baywatch.”

Marpat Aviation’s owner and operator, Mike Holbrook, did not answer a call seeking comment. Two people who answered phone numbers connected with the company hung up on a reporter.

The helicopter, which had taken off from Logan County Airport, crashed into the roadway and guardrail of a rural two-lane road, Mr. Bryant said. He said that the helicopter was still on fire when he arrived and that in his 35 years with the county’s emergency services, he had seen “no crashes of this magnitude.”

One woman claimed that following the collision, she sprinted to the site while dodging the guardrail. The woman, Bobbi Childs, told a Huntington television station, WSAZ-3, “I got up to the helicopter, but the fire was just so hot, so strong.”

It’s not clear at this time what went wrong with the flight. Firefighters responded to the location after receiving a report that the helicopter was on fire to put out the flames. The collision will be looked into by the F.A.A. and the National Transportation Safety Board. The victims’ names have not been publicly released.

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