CLARK COUNTY — The family of a Pennsylvania pilot killed near Springfield this weekend says they want to know what caused his chopper to clip power lines and crash.
Isaac Santos, 36, of Gettysburg, PA, was flying a Bell 206L-4 helicopter near Interstate 70 in Clark County when it struck power lines. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Isaac’s sister, Katie Santos, told News Center 7′s John Bedell he had years of experience.
Right now his family is in the process of getting his remains back to Pennsylvania and planning his funeral. They’re also eager to get answers from investigators.
Santos says she looked up to her big brother.
“At that age, it was enough for me to be with my brother, spend time with my brother and, you know, do anything he did. And I always wanted to be just like him growing up,” Santos said.
Suddenly, she’s adjusting to the painful reality of living without him.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Santos said.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says Isaac Santos was spraying crops Saturday afternoon when his helicopter clipped power lines and crashed in a cornfield.
Santos said Isaac had been a pilot for more than a decade and had been flying crop dusting jobs for years.
“Oh, he loved flying. Oh my gosh. It was like he loves adrenaline. So for him, I guess you could say that was his way of flying, being in control, but being free at the same time,” Santos said.
Federal investigators say Isaac was flying for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-based Helicopter Applicators Inc.
NTSB records the I-Team reviewed show Saturday’s wreck was the fifth crash involving one of the company’s aircraft since 2009.
None of the previous four mishaps were deadly.
They included a crash in North Carolina in 2016 and a wreck in Pennsylvania in 2010 where a pilot also clipped power lines.
As for what happened in the air Saturday in Springfield, Santos says the family has questions about what happened to her big brother.
“We want to know because we don’t know why he crashed because it’s not like this is the first time. He’s not a rookie. He’s been doing this for years. (So) for him to crash— we want to know what made it crash or why he crashed,” Santos said.
News Center 7 reached out to Helicopter Applicators Inc. for comment today. We are awaiting a response.
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