Two die in Oklahoma helicopter crash; Georgia crash kills three

Monday, June 28, 2004

CUSHING, Okla. -- A helicopter offering sightseeing rides clipped power lines and crashed into a river, killing two of the five people aboard.

Killed were pilot Darrell C. Jameson, of Oklahoma City, and Nicholas Knigge, of Cushing, Okla., said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Brandon Kopepasah.

Hours after the Saturday night crash in Oklahoma's Cimarron River, three people were killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash south of Atlanta.

The Bell 206B helicopter crashed into water about five feet deep after hitting three power lines, said Aaron Sauer, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. It had taken off from an Elks Lodge about five miles away in Cushing, Sauer said.

The Georgia helicopter crash occurred behind a home in Lamar County and killed all three people aboard, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. No one was hurt on the ground.

The victims were 27-year-old pilot Wyatt Zane Rogers, and two passengers, Kendall and Kelly Loudermilk, all of Spartanburg, S.C., said Lamar County Sheriff Larry Waller.

Angel Kilgore said the helicopter crashed into her backyard while she slept. "It sounded like it was right in my bedroom," she said. "The whole house shook. It just rattled."

Authorities were checking whether Rogers may have tried to make an emergency landing at the Thomaston-Upson County Airport.

The helicopter is registered to MG Aviation, authorities said. A phone call to the Greenville, S.C.-based company was not immediately returned.

Federal officials were investigating the causes of both crashes.

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