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Fatal Polk County helicopter crash began as aerial tour

A fatal helicopter crash in Polk County on Dec. 30, 2021 was part of a sightseeing tour.
A fatal helicopter crash in Polk County on Dec. 30, 2021 was part of a sightseeing tour.(NTSB)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 12:06 PM CST
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LIVINGSTON, Texas (KTRE) - A federal report shows a helicopter that crashed in Polk County was on a sightseeing tour.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report, the helicopter that crashed in Polk County on Thursday, Dec. 30 around 11:45 a.m. was being used to take its passengers on a sightseeing tour that one of them had won at a local charity auction. Daniel King, 45, of Livingston, died in the crash.

The report states that the original plan was to fly over King’s childhood home near Woodville. However, as the flight went on and the pilot encountered low clouds, it was determined they would not continue to Woodville. Instead, the flight was rerouted to the King’s home near Livingston. As the helicopter was in a hover near the house, the surviving passengers said the aircraft began to rotate, soon realizing the rotation was not intentional.

The helicopter rotated about two full revolutions before striking a tree with the rotor blades and falling to the ground.

The pilot and two additional passengers were taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

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