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NTSB: Helicopter rotated out of control before fatal crash

January 7, 2022 GMT

LIVINGSTON, Texas (AP) — A helicopter rotated out of control before crashing in East Texas, killing a passenger and injuring the pilot and two other passengers, federal investigators said Friday.

The Bell 206B helicopter crashed Dec. 30 onto a woodpile in a field in Livingston, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Houston.

In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that a passenger told investigators that the helicopter was hovering when the aircraft began rotating to the right.

After the second rotation, the helicopter’s rotor blades struck a tree and it crashed. The cause of the loss of control remains under investigation.

The passengers told the NTSB that the helicopter flight was a prize won in a charity auction. Daniel King, 54, of Livingston, the winner of that prize and a front-seat passenger in the helicopter, was killed, officials said.