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Officials Search For Pilot of Downed Copter

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, August 25 2012

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

ABINGDON, Va. – FAA investigators were scheduled to arrive Saturday at South Holston Lake where a Food City corporate helicopter crashed after transporting passengers from Bristol Motor Speedway to a residence following Friday night’s Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide race.

The 1996 Bell 407 helicopter crashed in the lake’s Washington County, Va., side near the home of K-VA-T Food Stores CEO Steve Smith shortly after takeoff from the residence about 10:30 p.m. Friday. Authorities said the pilot was the only person onboard the helicopter when it crashed.

Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team members spent most of the night searching the wreckage for the pilot, whose name has not yet been released. The SRT planned to bring a side-scan sonar Saturday to assist with the search for the pilot.

The helicopter remained upside down in the lake Friday night, but was expected to be removed from the 25 feet of water Saturday during daylight.

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, August 25 2012
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