MERIDIAN — (AP) No one was injured Thursday morning when a small crop-duster helicopter made a crash landing in a field near Rienzi.
According to a witness, the helicopter was spraying soybean fields about a mile east of Rienzi on Highway 356 when it clipped a power line and went down in the beans shortly before 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Edith Hughes-Johnson and her husband, Quitman, had been watching the helicopter spraying the fields around their house in the minutes leading up to the crash. Edith had walked inside at the time the helicopter struck the power line.
It was a blast when it hit like a big light went through the windows, she said. The line just clipped him. I think it was the back rotor that hit. I came out of the house and it looked like he just glided it down.
The helicopter descended to earth in a soybean field approximately 50 yards from Edith s home. She watched as the pilot tried to take off, but was unable to gain altitude with the broken rotor.
The pilot was not injured. Within two hours ACE Power had restored electricity and a local towing company had loaded up the helicopter and took it away from the scene.
According to airport personnel, a small agricultural helicopter fueled up at the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport Thursday morning around 8:15 a.m. The copter was a 2006 Enstrom Helicopter Corp model 480B licensed to Tennessee Helicopter Sales & Service of Bolivar, Tenn. It was piloted by Bolivar resident Jimmy Sain.
Airport personnel could not confirm that this was the helicopter that struck the power line near Rienzi because no report had been filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Hughes was happy because the pilot had escaped injury and the soybeans weren t badly damaged.
It s amazing to me it didn t take out more of the soybeans, she said.
Alcorn County Emergency Management Director Ricky Gibens also looked on the bright side.
There s one good thing about this, Gibens said. And that s nobody got hurt.