Pilot dead after helicopter crashes while spraying crops in Clark County; NTSB investigating

CLARK COUNTY — A pilot is dead after crashing their helicopter in Clark County Saturday afternoon.

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Around 12 p.m. a Bell 206 helicopter hit powerlines as it was spraying crops in a cornfield and went down, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash also shut down I-70 in Clark County for hours when downed powerlines lead to crashes on the highway.

Some iWitness 7 viewers sent in a video of the helicopter before it went down, saying they felt something was “off.”

Viewers like Arielle Griever who took a video of the helicopter not long before it crashed.

“I saw him dip up over the horizon ... and then dip back down and I was like “What’s going on?’” Griever said.

She said she’s grown up watching the sprayers go over the same fields her whole life.

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“I don’t usually see not even the sprayers moving you know, that fast that sharp…not in this area,” she said.

She said she pulled out her phone to record what she was seeing.

Not long after she stopped, the helicopter crashed into a field on East Possum Road.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. James Bryner the helicopter took power lines down with it.

“The powerlines fell into the interstate and struck several vehicles,” he said.

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A spokesperson for the Springfield Township Fire Department confirmed that a body was taken from the scene by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that only the pilot was on board.

“I definitely feel guilty, you know I witnessed that and I felt like something was wrong and I don’t think that there was much I could do,” Griever said. I just feel terrible. I mean, any loss of life is terrible, especially you know people working the farm industry with all the risk, it’s just not something you like to hear about.

She said this is the kind of community that will lean on each other during this time.

“I know that the agricultural community does stick together and you know they like to support each other, especially in times of tragedy, loss, misfortune,” she said.

The name of the person piloting the helicopter has not been released.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the NTSB who said they expect a preliminary report to be available in 10-12 days.

We will continue following this story and update as new information is available.