The pilot of the helicopter that crashed on the northeastern North Carolina campus of the private security contractor Xe is identified by the company as a decorated U.S. Army veteran.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported Wednesday that Xe said in a statement that Glen H. Wenzel of Winston-Salem died when the MD-530 helicopter he was piloting crashed during a training flight with a student, whose identity has not been released.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter crashed when its skid caught on an object and flipped over.
Xe said Wenzel had received several awards, including the Army Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Medal. The company said he
was an employee of Presidential Airways, which is owned by Xe,
training student pilots in tactical maneuvers designed for overseas
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Currituck County spokesman Randall Edwards told WITN News that one person on the helicopter died, while another was sent to a hospital in Chesapeake, Virginia with non-life threatening injuries.
Edwards says the victim was thrown from the helicopter and then trapped in the wreckage.
Authorities have police tape around what appears to be a training tower next to a pond at the facility. A large blue tarp covers part of the top of that structure.
Two off duty deputies were at the facility training and called 911 when the crash happened.
Xe is the security and training company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide.
Xe's campus is in Moyock. Company spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell says an MD-530 helicopter was conducting routine training operations around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon when it crashed.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says
the crash happened when the aircraft's skid caught on an object and flipped over.
A spokeswoman says this is the first serious injury in the 11-year history of the company's training facility.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
Xe’s aviation affiliate, Presidential Airways, maintains a fleet of aircraft in support of training operations at the U.S. Training Center in Moyock, NC. At approximately 1:30 pm today, we were notified that one of our aircraft, an MD-530, was conducting routine training operations when an incident occurred on-site, involving two aviation personnel.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently on the scene and The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved and their families and we ask that the media respect their privacy.
Anne E. Tyrrell
Director of Public Affairs