A helicopter crashed into the second story of a downtown Orlando, Florida, home Sunday, and burst into flame, killing the pilot, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The Orlando Police Department, Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash of the Robinson R44 chopper. The pilot was the only reported fatality.
“We don't know what caused the accident,” Orlando Police Sgt. Wanda Ford told WESH-TV, Orlando. “We just know the helicopter did go inside the guesthouse and thankfully there were no residents inside.”
— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) March 22, 2015
Neighbors said there was a “deafening” sound after the helicopter slammed into a two-story guesthouse. "Next thing you know we see this huge ball of fire over there," neighbor Peter Ronca told the Sentinel. "We couldn't see anything but basically the tail end of the helicopter." The fire was extinguished in minutes, Reuters said.
The aircraft took off from Orlando Executive Airport and crashed 2 miles west of it, WESH reported.
There isn’t much information about why or how the aircraft crashed, but answers may begin to emerge Monday when the NTSB is to arrive. "We'll document the scene and do an initial examination of the aircraft, look at the engines, how it came to rest, and evidence of the path it may have taken,” NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said.
Investigators had yet to identify the pilot.
The crash caused a power outage that affected 33 customers, WESH-TV reported. It’s unknown how the power outage will last. “It's going to be closed off for a while because this is an investigation,” Ford said.
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