Local News

Pilot walks away after helicopter crashes at Cameron farm

Posted November 1, 2016

— A helicopter spraying farm fields in Moore County crashed Tuesday morning near Cameron, but the pilot was able to walk away without serious injury.

Andy Stephen called his survival a miracle.

"You can't even imagine the shuddering and crashing and the noise. It's just crazy," Stephen said as he returned to the crash site Tuesday afternoon.

Stephen, who works as an agriculture chemical sprayer for Pennsylvania-based Helicopter Applications Inc., said he had just taken off at about 11:30 a.m. after refilling his tank with herbicide from a ground-support truck when he heard a crack. He was about 50 feet off the ground, and he braced for impact as his Bell helicopter went down off Stanton Hill and Graham roads.

"I helped him get out, and he walked himself out here," said Mark Bunch, who was operating the supply truck. "He's lucky because his helmet was knocked off his head and everything."

Stephen was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released.

"I got a couple scratches on my shin and sore shoulders from the harness, and that's about it," he said. "I feel pretty lucky. The doctor was like, 'You should go to the casino.' I was like, 'I might have used up all my luck for a while.'"

Neither Stephen nor Bunch know what went wrong.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.


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