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Helicopter pilot dies in crash near Crowley

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 6:32 PM

KAPLAN (AP) — A low-flying helicopter crashed after striking one of the guy-wires supporting a radio tower in rural south Louisiana, killing the pilot.

Maxine Trahan, a spokeswoman for the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office, said it happened just before noon Wednesday. The pilot was believed to be the only person aboard the four-seat aircraft. Trahan later identified the pilot, who also owned the Bell 206 helicopter, as Hugh C. Kelley, 66, of Beaumont, Texas.

There were no injuries on the ground.

The tower is located on farm land near Crowley. Trahan says the tower appeared stable after the crash but non-essential personnel were being kept away while authorities determined whether it was safe.

Trahan said it was unclear why the pilot was flying so low. After striking the support wire, the helicopter crashed roughly 250 yards from the tower.

Family members of the pilot reported he had been in the Lafayette area for routine maintenance on the aircraft and was returning to Beaumont, Trahan told The Advocate.

Federal Aviation Administration officials are scheduled to arrive Thursday to investigate the incident, she said.

The Wednesday crash comes after another fatal helicopter crash in Intracoastal City.

The Bristow Group helicopter that was on a test flight crashed Friday about a quarter of a mile from where it took off, according to the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office.

Bristow Group, a Houston-based company that provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, identified the pilot of the Bell 407 helicopter as Carl Amos, of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Federal officials have not released a report on the possible cause of that accident.

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