UPDATE: Video Shows Marine Helicopter Mishap At Chili Festival

Video has surfaced of Saturday's helicopter mishap in Havelock which injured four people. It's the second time in a little over a year that an aircraft from Eastern Carolina was involved in such an accident.

The four were injured during the Havelock Chili Festival after a Cherry Point helicopter lifted off and sent debris flying. A person at the festival captured the now infamous take-off on camera and posted it to YouTube. You can watch the video by clicking the link below.

In the video you can see the HH-46 helicopter take off over the festival, as people cheered. But then papers from festival booths start flying and the video abruptly ends with one of those booths crashing down on the photographer.

Cherry Point is setting up a claims center after this past weekend's mishap. Pedro, the Marine's search and rescue helicopter, had been on public display at the festival.

The center for those with property damage and injury claims will open at noon Tuesday at the Havelock Tourist and Events Center. It will be open Tuesday until 5:00 p.m. and then Wednesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cherry Point has also set up a telephone number for people seeking claims-related information. They can call 252-466-4241 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. starting Tuesday.

In May 2010, an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft injured ten people on Staten Island, New York when it was landing at a Memorial Day celebration. The rotor wash caused broken tree branches to hit spectators.

That aircraft was based at New River.


Previous Story

Four people were injured Saturday during the Havelock Chili Festival after an accident involving a Cherry Point helicopter.

According to officials four people were injured by debris from the rotor of Marine Transport Squadron 1's Pedro helicopter.

It happened around 4 p.m. as the helicopter was leaving the Havelock Chili Festival and going to return to MCAS Cherry Point.

The helicopter was on public display at the festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Officials say the orange and gray HH-46 helicopter's primary mission is to support search and rescue operations for local military aircraft. They say it is a familiar sight in the area as it also conducts routine operations to support the local Coast Guard.

An investigation is ongoing.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tony Location: mhc on Oct 19, 2011 at 06:24 AM
    I agree with johanna, it falls on the festival committe to clear the area or warn the public about the helicopter about to take off and stay at ther own risk. You people who are on food stamps & welfare should look for money elsewhere not from the usmc that is defending our country. I hope the military decines any offer to show up there if asked again.
  • by Chuck WireWiggler Location: ChazWorld, Hyde Branch on Oct 18, 2011 at 04:36 PM
    This was a totally preventable accident. If the Navy thought that this Helo would be needed (as a backup or what ever) this unit should have been placed where it could take-off without endangering personnel or property, or the militay should have declined the visit. Other-wise It should have sat there until everything else was gone. Ultimately anytime something happens with an aircraft, the pilot assumes all decisions and much of this falls on his shoulders. Don't let events like this stop military aircraft from such events. With this exception, these visits do build pride and interest, and shows the taxpayers what these guys do, and most people really do care.
  • by Johanna Location: Newport on Oct 18, 2011 at 03:52 PM
    There may have been poor judgement involved in this incident. No one was seriously injured. Anyone who takes money from the MarineCorps should be ashamed of themselves. Thank God the debris consisted of mostly paper and not bullets or bombs that Marines help keep away from the chili festival. Since they show such poor judgement perhaps USMC should vacate Cherry Point and move to New River or California to bulk up those economies. Where were Havelock employees to pick up the debris continuously. Havelock you would have nothing without the USMC. Give it a rest The show committee should have made an announcement the helicopter was taking off.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Oct 18, 2011 at 03:04 PM
    Pedro Rescue does an outstanding job in their true calling. I will not join in to bash this incident. I'm sorry people got hurt, but thankfully, it was not of the magnitude that the air shows around the country turned out. I support Pedro.
  • by Harry Location: Goldsboro on Oct 18, 2011 at 02:21 PM
    Egads, when are people going to be responsible for their own welfare and safety. Air shows carry a higher risk. Things break, errors happen, so why is all the risk placed on the host? One reason, they have deep pockets and it is a chance for opportunistic individuals to take advantage of a gamed system. It is time to put the blame on the stooges who attend thinking life is risk free.
  • by BrainOn Location: JVille NC on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM
    I hope the USMC completely suspends putting military aircraft at these local events and further cancels the annual airshows too. It would save a huge amount of money and help ensure no one gets hurt again. The War in Afghanistan is not a video game - our servicemembers have better things to do than dog and pony shows.
  • by Bertie on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM
    They should train marines before they let them fly these things.
    • reply
      by julie on Oct 18, 2011 at 03:10 PM in reply to Bertie
      You should know what you are talking about before you make ignorant comments about the military men and women who fly "these things" which are known as helicopters. They have more ability in their pinky finger than you have sense in your brain. These "marines" you are talking about are protecting you and your family!!!
  • by Dennis Location: Havelock on Oct 18, 2011 at 10:11 AM
    I was there and yes there was gusts of wind that could have contributed to the drift. Still no excuse but I do wish those who suffered a fast recovery and the best.
  • by George W on Oct 18, 2011 at 09:48 AM
    Air shows are stupid and a waste. Demonstrations at festivals by aircraft are stupid...talk about wasteful spending? WASTEFUL SPENDING?!?!?!?!? What? Oh wait a minute...it's good for morale. I forgot. Risking peoples lives and wasting fuel is a positive thing.
  • by Jess on Oct 18, 2011 at 08:31 AM
    Pilot gets a "below average" in headwork. Helo pilots have done worse but that was not smart.
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