Helicopter crash victim believed to be Kingsbury Grade resident
A Douglas County pilot, believed to be a Kingsbury Grade resident, died when his helicopter crashed shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday in a cow pasture on Jubilee Ranch, just east of Foothill Road and South of Muller Lane in Carson Valley, according to Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini.
The name has not been released pending notification of family members.
Ranch hand Warren Fillmore witnessed the accident.
“I heard a loud clanking sound, like metal or something had ripped off,” Fillmore said. “The helicopter came straigh down and exploded when it hit the ground.
“It happened so quick, there was nothing to do,” he said. “It was about three to four seconds between the sound and the explosion.”
Nothing was left of the aircraft, according to Pierini.
The plume of smoke from the wreckage was sometimes punctuated by a small blaze, the only remnants on this quiet morning, as officials stood by.
One of the few recognizable pieces was a portion of the tail, which lay about 30 feet from the crash site.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts and Minden-Tahoe Airport officials responded to the crash.
Local officials will guard the site until investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration arrive, Pierini said.
“Our investigators are taking photos of the scene, but the determination concerning the crash will be made by the FAA,” Pierini said.
He said airplane crashes occur regularly in Carson Valley. An experimental jet crashed off Foothill Road a couple of years ago and more recently, an experimental plane crashed near Mottsville.
“And it’s not all that uncommon to have a glider go down,” Pierini said.
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