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Mosquito control helicopter crashes in Volusia County woods

Pilot found bleeding, but conscious, deputies say

The Insider
The Insider

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A mosquito control helicopter crashed in Volusia County on Thursday afternoon, injuring the pilot, according to officials.

Volusia County Fire Rescue said the crash was reported just before 3:30 p.m. 

According to Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the helicopter -- a 1989 McDonnell Douglas rotorcraft -- crashed into a densely wooded area near State Road 44, west of Interstate 95. 

Deputies found the helicopter crash scene shortly after 4 p.m. The pilot, 43-year-old Brian Hayes, called 911 to report the incident from his cellphone and dispatchers pinged the coordinates of his location.

Hayes, who is Volusia County Mosquito Control's chief pilot and has been with the county since March, was bleeding, but conscious and was taken Halifax Health Medical Center.

He was released on Friday afternoon.

Volusia County officials say Hayes is an experience helicopter pilot having flown Black Hawks during his 20 years with the U.S. Army.

The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash.

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