National Guard helicopter makes hard landing in West Knox County

National Guard helicopter makes hard landing in West Knox County

Posted: Updated: Dec 13, 2013 11:58 PM
A National Guard helicopter made a hard landing in the Karns area of West Knox County Friday night. A National Guard helicopter made a hard landing in the Karns area of West Knox County Friday night.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A National Guard helicopter goes down and catches fire in a residential West Knox County neighborhood.

It happened on Yarnell Road, North of I-40 at 7 pm. Amazingly, two pilots assigned to the 230th Air Cavalry Squadron were able to walk out of the helicopter with no major injuries.

The pilots were on their way to some routing night time when they made an extremely hard landing.

"They told us it was a military helicopter that went down in the field behind the house," said Kathy Hoskins, who lives by the scene. She says a friend texted her and she raced home.

"They said nothing was hit. None of the property was hit. None of the houses were hit, or anything," Hoskins said.

"Well to the best of our knowledge, this was one of our OH-58 Delta Kiowa Warriors doing night training. Something went wrong and the aircraft went down 300 yards behind me," explained Major General Max Haston, with the Tennessee National Guard.

The helicopter caught fire. The National Guard and emergency crews responded to the scene.

"The aircraft became fully engulfed and the helicopter burned up after it hit the ground. The goodness of it is that both the pilots got out and have been transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries," Maj. Gen. Haston said.

"That no one was hurt, is the blessing in this whole thing," Hoskins said.

We're told both were experienced pilots, one an instructor, the other was a junior.

The pair were taken to UT Medical Center. Neighbors are still reeling from the shock of it all.

"I never thought it would happen in my neighborhood. I can tell you that," Hoskins said.

The National Guard will be investigating the scene more by daylight, to figure out what happened.

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