By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
On Monday afternoon in Hendricks, residents noticed a significantly low flying helicopter circling over the area. Paula Lowther was home at the time and heard the noise and immediately became concerned with how close it was and the weather conditions. “I went outside and watched it circling and it kept getting lower and lower,” she began. “I was actually getting a little concerned it may hit a house. After a couple rounds, it finally landed behind the storage buildings in Frankie’s field.”
Brett Ware, 911 Director, provided an official statement regarding the incident. “At approximately 4:51 p.m., Tucker County Office of 911 received multiple emergency calls regarding a helicopter landing in an open field in the Hendricks community. This office notified officers from the Parsons Detachment of West Virginia State Police and the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department. The first officer arrived on scene at 5 p.m. and advised the pilot was landing due to declining weather conditions and no emergency existed. The crew stayed with a resident of the Hendricks community until the weather cleared,” concluded Ware.
Trooper First Class J.J. Schmidle with the West Virginia State Police arrived on scene to gather information from the pilots and landowners. After confirming the emergency landing was due to weather and the onset of darkness, he spoke with the owners of the property, ensuring that it was permissible for them to remain landed on their property until morning.
Office of Emergency Management Director Kevin White, who is also Chief of Company 10 Parsons Volunteer Fire Department, stated “We weren’t even notified about it.” He actually found out about the event due to social media. Though neither Ware nor Schmidle knew where the pilots were from or where they were headed, one local resident claimed they were from Canada and on their way to Charleston, W.Va.
Once dawn arrived and the weather was more favorable, the pilots returned to their helicopter and took off and continued on their way.