Saturday, August 25, 2012

Food City helicopter crashes in lake, pilot only one on board

A Food City helicopter has crashed upside down into a lake in Washington County, VA, near Abingdon.

Picture of the scene, from WJHL-TV in Johnson City.

Josh Smith, a reporter there, reports: Virginia State Police CONFIRMED: pilot only person on Food City chopper that crashed tonight into South Holston Lake. So far, the pilot hasn't been found.

A message board poster on VolNation from Johnson City said the pilot had just dropped the owner of food city off at his house when the crash happened. Dad says he's the best helicopter pilot he's ever flown with.

She also said at 1am, from a good source that Smith was not on board. He was still at racetrack and they got a police escort to take him home from track after news of the helicopter crash. The source says the Helo had just delivered some people to the Smith home on South Holston in Abingdon, but they were all off. Only pilot aboard, they think. A group of people had been flown to Abingdon from the track.

This is a scanner feed of what was going on during the wreck. The sound on the wreck begins at about 10:54: is reporting that sources are confirming that it was a Food City Corporate helicopter. Deaths are possible. The flight path revealed that the helicopter was on its way from Charlottesville to Abingdon, Va. 

According to this report, Food City CEO Steve Smith was not on board.

@ericmccord posted this story: BREAKING: A Food City Corporate helicopter crashed in Washington Co, VA. No details. Happened around 11 PM EDT.

Executives of the Food City supermarket chain were on the plane. The plane, a 1996 Bell 407, is registered to K-VA-T &W-L Aviation LLC in Abingdon,Va (the owners of Food City).

Scannerfood, a Tri-Cities based Twitter feed reports that the helicopter that crashed tail number is the N407N, Food City Corporate Helicopter.

Virginia State PD has a dive team en-route to a lake where the Food City Corperate helicopter went down.

WJHL in Johnson City has a link:

Food City sponsored the race tonight at Bristol in the Nationwide Series, the Food City 250. They are the major supermarket chain in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

The WJHL report says  unconfirmed police radio traffic said privately owned boats have surrounded what could be a helicopter that is upside down in the water near Lake Road and Green Springs Road in Washington County.

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