ClickOrlando reports that a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021, indicates that a piece of firefighting equipment that came loose was the likely cause of a helicopter crash in Leesburg on May 25th.
The report shows that the firefighting equipment installed on the Blackhawk came loose during a training exercise and struck the blades of the aircraft. All four people who were on board for the initial test flight were killed in the crash.
Eyewitnesses who were at the Leesburg Airport at the time told federal aviation investigators that they noticed something was wrong with the aircraft and attempted to contact the pilot through the air traffic control tower. Before the equipment broke off and struck the blades, the helicopter seemed out of control.
When the piece hit the blades, the aircraft quickly lost altitude, went into a spin, and crashed.
So far, investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration, the NTSB, and Leesburg City officials have declined to release the identities of the victims. The NTSB is expected to release its findings at a later date. Because most of the Blackhawk was destroyed in the crash, it may take several months before they complete the investigation.
Any ongoing investigation can make it extremely difficult for surviving family members to piece their lives together once again.