Truck Passenger Killed In R44 Emergency Landing

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Image: Top Choice Automobile Sales

Image: Top Choice Automobile Sales

The passenger of a passing truck was killed when a Robinson R44 attempted to make an emergency landing on a road in Palm River, Florida, on Thursday afternoon. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, one of the helicopter’s rotor blades broke off after hitting a telephone pole and struck the truck, killing the passenger. The driver of the truck was taken to a local hospital in unknown condition and one of the two pilots onboard the helicopter was hospitalized for “some heat exhaustion and some dehydration issues.” The identities of those involved have not yet been released.

The Sherriff’s Office reported that the helicopter suffered catastrophic engine failure while it was being transported to Sarasota after having been in for service. No further details have been given on what kind of maintenance was performed. As shown in the video below, the pilot was able to autorotate the helicopter enough to make a hard landing. The accident occurred at 2:21 p.m. local time on 50th Street at Palm River Road. The NTSB is investigating.