Power lines were barely visible where helicopter crashed on I-10, officials say

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 4:37 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board into a fatal helicopter crash on I-10 was released on Wednesday.

Officials say flying conditions were less than ideal when Joshua Hawley’s chopper clipped a guy wire and crashed onto the roadway, narrowly missing traveling cars.

The NTSB report says the guy wire was estimated to be about 130 feet above the bridge. Hawley’s helicopter was last tracked moving at about 104 knots groundspeed at only 75 feet above ground level.

Several dashcam videos captured Hawley’s descent and impact on I-10 near LaPlace, Louisiana. In the videos, the chopper’s main rotor blades, mast, and transmission were seen separated from the fuselage. Officials say those parts of the plane were recovered in Lake Pontchartrain.

Dashcam photos show the rotor blades of Joshua Hawley's chopper severed from the cabin after...
Dashcam photos show the rotor blades of Joshua Hawley's chopper severed from the cabin after clipping power lines above the Bonnet Carre Spillway.(WVUE)

The cabin was mostly consumed in the fiery aftermath.

Officials say they have not seen any video of the helicopter’s collision with the power line.

A United States Coast Guard helicopter was launched to the scene to provide search and rescue support. The pilot reported a “wall” of low-level fog, which allowed the power lines to be barely visible.

Hawley, 42, was a father of three children, a flight instructor, and a former paramedic in Baton Rouge.

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