According to a preliminary report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), one person has died and another was injured in a helicopter crash in Sevier County on December 29. The crash occurred in the middle of the afternoon, at around 2:21 PM, during a flight from Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevierville, TN. The current cause of the crash is unknown, and an investigation is ongoing.
The Details of the Crash
The helicopter crash involved two individuals, the pilot and one passenger, and occurred on the border of Sevier and Cocke Counties. The Cocke County and Sevier County Sheriff’s Offices responded to the scene of the crash, as well as Sevier County EMS and the National Park Service. According to an initial report from the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office, the pilot was injured but active, while the passenger was uninjured but unresponsive. This initial report was later disputed by the FAA, which stated that the pilot was dead and the passenger was injured.
About the Helicopter in the Crash
The helicopter was identified with the tail number N544SC, which is registered to November Alpha, LLC, a company that owns Touchstone Helicopters, a California-based helicopter rental company. The owner of Touchstone Helicopters, John Nielsen, was contacted by local news station WVLT, but did not respond for comment. It remains unclear what may have caused the crash, and the matter is currently under investigation by both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The Conditions Around the Crash Site
According to witnesses around the crash site, weather conditions were poor at the time of the crash. One witness who lived around the area described the sky as “overcast and rainy,” which was confirmed by a representative from a local helicopter tour company, Scenic Helicopter Tours, who said the weather conditions were “not flyable.” The witness also said it was uncommon for helicopters to fly around the area, due to poor visibility from the surrounding mountains.
The Investigation Into the Crash
At the moment, there has been no reason given for the cause of the crash. While the poor weather conditions are a likely culprit, it is possible there may have been a mechanical failure of some kind, or perhaps a serious error committed by the pilot. The investigation by the NTSB will reveal any potential problems with the aircraft or the pilot’s condition at the time of the crash, and determine who, if anyone, bears fault for what happened.
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact the Tennessee personal injury lawyers at the Keith Williams Law Group. With convenient offices located in Nashville and Lebanon, our lawyers will work with you to create a litigation strategy that protects your legal rights and serves your personal needs. For more information or a free consultation, please contact us at 615-444-2900 or visit our contact page.