Pilot walks away unscathed from Cement helicopter crash - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pilot walks away unscathed from Cement helicopter crash

Cement_A pilot narrowly escaped with his life on Wednesday morning while test-flying a helicopter in Cement, Oklahoma.  Pilot Robert Jenkins also is a mechanic, and he had been working on the helicopter.  Witnesses say he took off from a field in the western part of town, was up in the air for a few minutes, but then came crashing down.

Amazingly, Jenkins walked away from the ordeal with only a few scratches on the top and side of his head.  The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) says he is lucky to be alive.  Video from immediately after the crash show the flipped "bird" with a broken out front windshield, and propellers scattered across the field. 

Jenkins says it was he who caused the chopper to nosedive.  "I tried to get stopped before I hit those power lines over there," he said.  "I turned it sideways, and when I did, the skid hit the ground."  The pilot says he's been through worse, though.  "Crashed on top of a mountain one time, and it rolled down a mountain," he said.  "That was a bit hairy."

Witness Kenneth Black was outside with his dogs when the noise from the aircraft caused him to look up and see the crash.  "It went straight nose first and flipped over," he said.  "The whole bubble of the front of it busted, and then that's when I started running over here [to the area of the crash]."

The OHP and the FAA are investigating the incident, and Trooper Glenn Zink says that it must have been divine intervention that allowed Jenkins to live to tell about it.  "Good Lord's got something else planned for him, because any crash you can walk away from is a good one," he said.

Jenkins walked away with only minor scratches, but says he is concerned about the toll the crash will take on his wallet.  "It's gonna cost me about $60,000."  Although he has been through crashes before, Jenkins says those experiences still doesn't make this one any easier.  "A bit nervous is all," he said.

Jenkins says he will work on the helicopter, but it may be a few months before he can get it in flying condition again.

CORRECTION:  This amends previous reports that there were two people in the helicopter.

 

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