Witness saw chopper in nose-dive position before fatal crash

February 4, 2022 GMT

HOUMA, La. (AP) — A helicopter was seen descending toward the ground in a nose-down position before it crashed near Houma, killing the pilot and a passenger, federal investigators said Friday.

The account was included Friday in the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the Jan. 14 crash.

The victims were identified by a coroner as Dylan Horn, 30, of Panama City, Florida; and Dana Burt, 50, of Kaplan, Louisiana, The Courier and Daily Comet reported.

Data showed the Bell 407 helicopter was an altitude of about 1,200 feet (365 meters) before descending, the NTSB report states.

The wreckage was found in a marshy area, parish President Archie Chaisson told reporters shortly after the crash happened.

“It appears that the aircraft nosedived and basically sunk into the mud, so there’s very little of the aircraft above the water line,” Chaisson said at the time.

The Coast Guard said a privately held helicopter operator, Rotocraft Leasing Co., had alerted the agency that the aircraft was overdue with two people aboard.

It’s expected to take several months before the agency issues a final report on the crash.