2 die when gyrocopter crashes and catches fire in Clay County, sheriff says

MELROSE, Florida. – Two people died Saturday morning when an experimental helicopter known as the Gyrocopter crashed and caught fire on private property off County Road 214 in the Melrose area of ​​Clay County, said Sheriff Michelle Cook.

The sheriff said calls started coming in just after 10 a.m. Saturday about an accident on the private estate near a house at 214 in the Melrose area. She said deputies and firefighters responded and firefighters were able to put out a small fire.

According to an FHP report, at around 10:10 a.m. the gyrocopter crashed into a residential grassy lot near County Road 214 and Melrose Road and burst into flames on impact.

The two people inside died at the scene, soldiers said.

Cook said FHP is leading the investigation and any further updates will come from that agency.

She confirmed that the aircraft appeared to be a homemade gyrocopter and described it as “badly mutilated and badly burned”.

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She said he landed within 100 feet of two buildings on either side.

“Unfortunately two people died, but we’re very lucky that this gyrocopter didn’t hit a house,” Cook said, adding that it’s possible the operator may have intentionally avoided the buildings in a final moment of dodge. heroism before crashing. field.

A helicopter crash has been reported off County Road 214 in the Melrose area of ​​Clay County. (WJXT)

Chronology

Clay County Fire Rescue reported at 10:11 a.m. that crews were at the scene of a downed plane in the area of ​​County Road 214 and Baker Road.

At 11:26 a.m., the Clay County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on social media that a helicopter had crashed in that area and was “still on fire.” That fire had been extinguished by 11:43 a.m., deputies said.

Drivers and residents were asked to avoid the area if possible.

At 12:10 p.m., the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed in a Tweet that the two occupants inside the “experimental aircraft” had died at the scene. FHP said the accident happened on private property on County Road 214 near Melrose Road, about a block from Baker Road.

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At 12:39 p.m., the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it would investigate the crash of an “experimental T-2 gyroplane” near Melrose.

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