Helicopter crashes in Noblesville

Picture courtesy Deawn McGill-Johnson
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Updated: .

NOBLESVILLE: It was a ball of fire after a helicopter crash near a Noblesville subdivision Thursday night. 

The chopper, coming from Fort Wayne and headed for Indianapolis, carried six people. All of them survived. 

It happened in the 11000 block of Hanbury Manor Boulevard, which is near the Sagamore subdivision in Noblesville. That's near 166th and Summer Road.

"Just stay back. It might blow." That was the warning one fireman gave to neighbors about the helicopter that had just crashed in their backyards. A helicopter that was now a ball of fire on the ground.

Just moments before, those neighbors watched that same helicopter flying low, right over their Noblesville homes.

"You could tell that the rotors were not, they did not sound right. There was a stutter to it and then I heard it hit in the back so I ran," explained Andrea Jones, who witnessed it all.

Jones said she ran, not knowing what she would find when she got there. 

"People were getting out a couple of them were stumbling away, a couple of the men were bleeding from the head. One guy almost passed out.  They were trying to help. There was a husband and a wife that were on and they had to carry her over to where she would be safe," Jones described.

The Noblesville Fire Department said the pilot and 5 passengers, 4 men and a woman, all walked away with only minor injuries after crashing in this field.

"Other than shaken up, 'adrenaline rush like there's no tomorrow' is what the gentleman described to me, but they're ok," said Rick Russell with the Noblesville Fire Department.

"Based on the weather, it got too bad for them and they were trying to get to the Noblesville airport," explained Russell.

"I talked to the pilot and he said that he was apologizing actually. I felt really bad for him.  He said he was just felt so bad, he was embarrassed.  He didn't want to hit the houses so he went for the field," said Jones of her interaction with the helicopter's pilot at the crash scene.

"It dropped dramatically and quickly and then there was a pop of flames and that's when I called 911," said John Partlow of what he saw right before the chopper crashed.

"After they crashed, they kind of gathered their wits and they quickly got out, shortly after they got out, a few feet away from the helicopter, it burst into flames," explained Russell.

Given the weather though, emergency crews called the outcome of this crash nothing short of miraculous.

"Anytime a helicopter or an aircraft of any sort falls from the sky, and people walk away, I truly think it can be a miracle," said Russell.

The NTSB is expected to be at the crash scene Friday, along with the FAA.
According to the Noblesville Fire Department, the pilot of the helicopter is Chuck Surack from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Eyewitness News tracked down those aboard the helicopter, but they told us they didn't want to talk about what happened.

Noblesville Fire Department officials say the pilot was Chuck Surack from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The names of the passengers have not been released.

The helicopter was a Euro Copter EC 130.