photo by Amy Maxwell
A Soddy Daisy man who owns his own helicopter crashed it Tuesday evening at Falling Water with a 91-year-old passenger on board.
Both passengers were able to walk away from the crash site. Pilot Steven Michael had a few cuts and scraps and Ivan Vernon was transported with minor burns and cuts by Hamilton County EMS.
The pilot had gone to pick up his passenger. The helicopter lost power soon after they tried to leave the Vernon property at the Branches Plantation. Mr. Michael reported to officials that he could not steer the helicopter to a clearing of land.
The vehicle landed on its side in a creek before catching fire.
The $100,000 Safari Rotorcraft experimental helicopter is a total loss. Mr. Michael had been flying it for three years.
Amy Maxwell of county emergency preparedness said the pilot was able to call 911. At 6:45 p.m., the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded to 806 Barker Road.
The staging area for rescuers was near Barker Road and Roberts Mill Road. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly and stop the remaining fuel from spilling into the creek by using absorption pads.
An investigation will be carried out by the FAA beginning Wednesday morning.