The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in Logan County Tuesday evening told state troopers the cause of the accident was likely engine failure, but it’s still being investigated, according to officials.
Leo Boucher, 50, of Manchester, N.H., crashed a helicopter on Tuesday afternoon in Liberty Twp., near Twp. Road 190 and Twp. Road 188, just west of Liberty Hills Golf Course. Boucher was trimming tree branches to make way for the Simon Kenton Bike Path extension when the helicopter crashed.
He spoke with a state trooper Tuesday at Grant Medical Center in Columbus and told them neither the helicopter or the saw hit anything, but that the engine was the cause of the crash.
However, the investigation is still ongoing, officials said.
“It’s not final,” said Sgt. Brian Jordan of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Marysville Post Thursday. “There hasn’t been an official determination. The FAA will take care of that.”
Boucher was still in the intensive care unit at Grant Medical Center Thursday morning. According to co-workers, he underwent back surgery on Wednesday morning.
Boucher works for Rotor Blade, an airborne vegetation management company, and was using a 30-foot chain saw attached to an 85-foot boom that’s connected to the helicopter engine to cut tree branches.
The Federal Aviation Administration investigated the scene Wednesday to determine the cause of the cause. FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Corey said no information will be released until the investigation is complete, which should be in two to three weeks.
LeVan’s Excavating of West Liberty won the contract to create the new 16-mile bike path extension from Urbana to Bellefontaine earlier this year and hired Rotor Blade to complete the work.
The City of Bellefontaine received a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and raised $300,000 through private donations, with help of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders, to build the path.
Staff Writer Brian Bondus contributed to this report.