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NTSB Report Indicates Helicopter Collided With Power Lines Before Wichita Falls Crash

United Regional Healthcare System

The pilot involved in a helicopter crash in Wichita Falls on Saturday claims it “spun out of control” before it crashed a few blocks from United Regional Health Care System.

After examining the scene, the National Transportation Board determined the helicopter collided with power lines.

According to the Times Record News: Pilot Zechariah Smith survived with serious injuries.  A medic onboard was critically injured. The patient being transported died at the scene and a flight nurse later died at Parkland Memorial in Dallas from severe burns.

The medical helicopter was transporting the patient from Oklahoma to United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls on Saturday when the pilot aborted the initial landing due to difficulties.

The Pilot told the NTSB in a preliminary report out today that during his second attempt to land the helicopter, it began to spin violently and he could not regain control.

Smith also reports he did not hear any unusual noises or see any indications of danger before the crash.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.