Logan Co. commissioner ‘deeply troubled’ by fatal helicopter crash
LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Logan County Commission President Danny Godby said he has not slept since learning of the fatal crash that killed six people on a Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter in Logan County on Wednesday.
“No matter who it is, we are in deep sadness over the loss of six lives,” Godby said by phone Thursday.
“Those are six lives that can’t be brought back again we send our prayers and our condolences to the families of those people, I know they are hurting right now.”
As of 9 p.m. Thursday, the victims have not been publicly identified.
In a brief news conference Thursday evening, Lynn Spencer, an Air Safety Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the six victims included three pilots who were qualified to fly the helicopter, the wife of a different pilot not on board, and two passengers.
Spencer said local officials would provide details on the victims’ identities.
Workers at Logan County airport said Thursday MARPAT Aviation, which has a hanger located at the airport, was operating the Huey flights on Wednesday.
Representatives from MARPAT Aviation at the airport Thursday declined to comment.
The MARPAT Aviation website shows a photo of the Huey helicopter.
MARPAT’s website also details the Seventh Annual Huey Reunion Tour based at Logan Airport. On the website, the event is described as offering rides in the historic Vietnam-era helicopter. The website states people interested can ride or fly the Huey with a donation.
At Thursday’s news conference Spencer said the NTSB was investigating the pilot’s flight experience.
MARPAT’s website also states the helicopter had also been in several movies.
Contacts listed on MARPAT’s website did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Godby said in years past, the event had brought a lot of tourists and business to Logan. He said he was saddened to learn an event with good intentions ended in tragedy.
“[The event] represents all that is good, it creates a remembrance of our veterans and what they did,” he said.
“Any loss of life is important, especially the way it occurred trying to something good it’s weight heavily on each of our minds.”
Godby said each member of the Logan County Commission is “deeply troubled” by the events.
“I have never known of any incident of this occurrence, I was so concerned I didn’t sleep I was so worried,” he said. “There’s a deep concern for the family and we certainly hate what had happened and we just hope and pray that they can go along and survive this situation.”
He said it will take time for the community to move forward.
“In life, we’re hit with a lot of tough hardships and the only way to [move on] is to try to go through it and learn from this situation and hope and pray something like this never happens again,” Godby said.
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