EXCLUSIVE: Helicopter Crash in Pecos County injures two

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration came out to investigate and try to find the cause of the crash to see whether it's pilot error or mechanical failure.  

Investigating this helicopter crash is much like piecing together a puzzle, so says F.A.A. Inspector Gordan Morris of Lubbock.  

He'll be spending the next few days trying to determine whether the aircraft experienced engine trouble or if the pilot is responsbile.  Morris says the clues are important so government officials can keep it from happening again.

"If there's something wrong with the helicopter, we want to get with the manufacturer to determine the cause and fix it.  If it's pilot error, then we need to look at the possibility of increasing training for the pilot or regulations in that type of operation." says Morris. 

Carestar arrived shortly after the crash last evening, and transported 54 year old Ronald Honaker of Saratoga to Odessa Regional Hospital with fractured vertebrae and other injuries.

The passenger, 48 year old Gerald Porter of Fort Stockton, suffered a fractured rib and bruised kidney.  Department of Public Safety Troopers combed the area and taped off this section of the field..that's scattered with debris.

"It kind of collapsed hard when it hit.  It came down hard.  I think they were pretty lucky that they didn't have more injuries than they did," says Sheriff Cliff Harris.

Meantime, the F.A.A. inspector plans to interview the pilot at the hospital, and the owner of the helicopter company out of Cotulla, Texas near San Antonio.  Sheriff Harris tells NewsWest 9 the men were hunting coyotes, because of the current rabies problem in Pecos County.