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Cause Of Hazelhurst Helicopter Crash Remains A Mystery

National Transportation Safety Board

An initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board has found no obvious reason why a medical helicopter traveling back to Woodruff crashed April 26.

Three persons died in the crash in a wooded area in Hazelhurst, about 12 miles from where they were headed. The crew had flown a patient to Madison and were returning.

Among the findings: There was no obvious equipment failure. The helicopter had been inspected just days before the crash. The pilot, Rico Caruso, had more than 3,200 hours of flight experience. The helicopter had a full tank of gas as it was heading north. Weather was not a factor and there was no sign the helicopter hit anything in the air.

The helicopter had recording equipment on board but those units were damaged. Further NTSB analysis will be needed if any clues are there as to why the helicopter crashed. A final report on the cause of the crash could be months, possibly years, in the future.

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