Two dead after ‘homemade helicopter’ crashes and bursts into flames in Florida

TWO people have died after a homemade gyrocopter crashed and caught fire.

Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook told reporters that right after 10am on Saturday a crash occurred in a private field near the Melrose, Florida, area.

Clay County deputies responded on Saturday to a helicopter crash

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Clay County deputies responded on Saturday to a helicopter crashCredit: WJXT
The gyroplane crashed in this grassy field, according to troopers. ,

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The gyroplane crashed in this grassy field, according to troopers. ,Credit: WJXT

She said the pilot heroically diverted the aircraft to prevent it from crashing into a barn or house.

The copter was “badly mangled and badly burned,” she said.

Upon impact, the homemade helicopter burst into flames. However, it was later put out.

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Both of the victims were in the helicopter when the crash happened.

Eyewitness Alexis Kelly told News4Jax she saw the crash happen.

“I was standing on my front porch actually and I heard something like the engine cut off above me, and I looked up and I couldn’t really see, and I ran to the top of the road, and probably five seconds tops it was going down,” Kelly said. 

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“I never thought I would witness that ever.”

She added that her grandmother called 911.

“She is very upset,” she added, “I’m just still in shock.”

The identities of the victims have not yet been released.

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An investigation led by Florida Highway Patrol is ongoing.

It is not clear where the helicopter originated from, but CBS News reported that authorities said it appeared to be homemade.

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