Deadly helicopter crash in Scappoose under investigation - KPTV - FOX 12

Deadly helicopter crash in Scappoose under investigation

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SCAPPOOSE, OR (KPTV) -

Federal investigators were on the scene of a deadly helicopter crash in Scappoose on Saturday evening.

Police said the small helicopter crashed into an empty field at the end of Wagner Court just before 2 p.m. near the Scappoose Industrial Airpark, killing the pilot. The pilot was the only person on board.

Austin and Lisa Peel were watching airplanes take off and land when they saw the helicopter go down.

"I immediately rushed out of the car like a bullet," said Lisa, after she and her husband drove over to help. "And I was calling, ‘Sir! Sir! Is there anybody out there?'"

Lisa said her husband, Austin, reached into the burning wreckage and pulled the pilot out.

"I grabbed a blanket and put out some of the ring of fire around the aircraft," said Austin. "I just know if it was me in there I'd want someone to get me to safety alive or dead."

Witnesses told FOX 12 that the pilot was practicing touch-and-go, landing and taking off again, before the crash happened. Neighbors reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing a plume of black smoke.

"I was inside, sitting there watching TV, and all of sudden I heard a ‘Boom," said Curt Jones, who lives nearby.

Scappoose fire said the helicopter was a Sport Copter, a gyrocopter made by a company of the same name based at the Scappoose Airport.

Saturday evening it remained unclear what caused the crash.

Austin and Lisa Peel returned to the crash site with flowers later in the evening to pay their respects to the pilot who lost his life.

"I know it's a hard thing trying to save someone's life and not being able to do what we initially wanted to," said Lisa. "But I know he's in heaven and as long as he knows that we came out here and let him know that he wasn't alone when he passed."

The victim's name has not been released.

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