3 killed in Palm Bay, Florida helicopter crash – Charles D’Alberto

Charles D'Alberto
Charles D’Alberto

PALM BAY, Fla. – Three people were killed Tuesday in a helicopter crash in Palm Bay near Osmosis Drive, police said.

Brevard County Fire Rescue hazmat personnel were at the scene near Bayside High School, along with the Palm Bay Fire Department.

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According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, “A Sikorsky S-61N helicopter crashed approximately 10 miles southwest of the Melbourne International Airport at 1:55 p.m. today. The flight departed from Melbourne International. Contact local authorities for information on passengers. The FAA will investigate.”

Police said the older model, military-style helicopter was on the ground and fully engulfed in flames when rescuers arrived.

The blaze was contained within 10 minutes, but all that was left was a pile of twisted metal.

The helicopter operated out of the Melbourne Airport and crashed about 10 miles southwest of the airport shortly before 2 p.m.

Witnesses reported seeing it flying low before it went down.

“They actually go out and do maneuvers out there all the time, and sometimes, they do night ones. It’s not unusual,” said nearby resident, who was not identified.

National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will investigate what caused the crash.

The helicopter is owned by a subsidiary of Illinois-based AAR Corp.

The company’s spokesperson said in a statement, “AAR Airlift Group’s overriding concern at this time i for those on board the aircraft and their families.”

Palm Bay police have identified the people on board, but have not released their names.

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Posted By Charles D'Alberto