NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on Newlyweds' Deadly Chopper Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board says a helicopter carrying two newlyweds from their wedding at a Uvalde County ranch to begin their honeymoon failed by 100 feet to clear a 1450 foot hill five miles from their take off point, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"The helicopter impacted the hill about 100 ft from the apex, a wreckage path estimated about 75-100 yds long ran along the hill to the main wreckage. First responders had attached ropes to the wreckage, to keep it from rolling down the steep hillside. The hillside also prevented a detailed examination of the wreckage on site." investigators wrote in their first preliminary report on the incident.

The impact killed 24 year old Bailee Ackerman Byler and her husband of just two hours, William Byler, also 24.According to the NTSB report, the helicopter was registered to W.T. Byler Co, Inc.Friends have said the Bylers were on their way to San Antonio International Airport after being married at his family's ranch.  Both were agriculture students at Sam Houston State University.

The report also revealed that the hillside is so steep that the first responders, who arrived on the scene shortly after midnight on November 4, had to secure the wreckage with ropes to prevent it from sliding down the slope.

The report indicated that there was no fire or explosion, and wind does not appear to have been a factor in the crash, which also killed the pilot, Gerald Lawrence.

The report did not law fault for the disaster or indicate what was the immediate cause of the crash.  A final report on conclusions is expected to be released early next year.


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