A Marine helicopter on its way to its home base in North Carolina crashed Friday and burst into flames near a school in this Dallas suburb. The two people on board were killed.
The Cobra AH-1 crashed just before 5 p.m. in a wooded area near Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Hutchins, about 10 miles southeast of downtown Dallas.
Velva Washburn, who works near the crash site, said the two-seat helicopter started making strange noises before it went down.
“The blades continued to turn but there was a whooping sound,” she said.
“And that was all. There was a pop and then it went down.”
She said the craft appeared to be struggling to stay airborne.
“Whoever was piloting it is a hero in my book because he could have killed us all,” Washburn said.
The helicopter had left U.S. Naval Air Station-Dallas, about 15 miles northwest of the crash site, and was returning to its home base in North Carolina, military officials said.