Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials this week hope to discover the reason behind Sunday’s helicopter crash on Cedar Creek Lake.

Officials can’t determine what happened to cause the light-weight helicopter to plummet into Cedar Creek Lake around 10 a.m. Sunday. Initial reports indicate the helicopter, a 2005 Robinson 44, was flying low above the water when its engine died, causing it to hit the water.

“We have no idea at this point what the cause of the crash is,” said Craig Hatch, a National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator. “The investigation is just beginning.”

Hatch said investigators are planning to retrieve the aircraft today.

The 2,500-pound helicopter now lies under 27 feet of water, near Carolyn Estates and Pinnacle Point.

The Dallas family in the helicopter survived the crash into Cedar Creek Lake’s murky depths and were each transported to a Dallas medical facility.

Reports indicate the pilot, Jay Roden, 51, was taken to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. His wife, Kim Roden, 40, was life flighted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas and the couple’s 4-year-old son was life flighted to Dallas Children’s Hospital.

Law enforcement officials received the call about the crash at 10:17 a.m. from Rob Graham, of Payne Springs.

Reports said the Texas Commission Environmental Quality arrived to investigate the scene around 3 p.m. The FAA and the Tarrant County water supply authorities were also notified of the crash on Sunday.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department, Payne Springs and Enchanted Oaks fire departments, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens also responded to the call.


e-mail cross@athensreview.com

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