Authorities say the pilot who crashed his helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico was from Abbeville. Divers recovered Arthur Oscar Lebron's body Monday evening. His helicopter crashed Monday afternoon, about 35-miles off of Grand Isle's coast. PHI says Lebron was alone. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. But, Jefferson Parish Coroner's Preliminary Report reveals that Arturo Lebron died of asphyxiation.
A Statement from PHI:
"On May 28th, just after 4pm in the afternoon, a Bell 206 PHI helicopter was involved in an accident approximately 35 miles south of Grand Isle, LA in the South Timbalier region of the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot of the aircraft, Arturo Ignacio Lebron, of Lafayette, LA, was the only person on board the aircraft at the time of the accident. A rescue team was immediately dispatched to the scene, however, the pilot did not survive the accident. Both the body of the pilot and the aircraft were recovered. It is with heavy hearts that his colleagues and each of us at PHI, extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family. We will continue to work closely with the NTSB to understand the cause of the accident and anything that can be learned to prevent situations like this in the future."
NEW ORLEANS – Authorities say the body of a pilot whose helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico has been recovered. The Coast Guard said in a news release that divers from the vessel Ocean Inspector found the pilot inside the aircraft's cockpit. The agency says the helicopter, owned by PHI Inc., crashed Monday afternoon and was used to take people to oil rigs.
The Times-Picayune reported that a spokesman for PHI, Dave Stepanek, only would confirm that one of the company's helicopters was in the water and said more information would be released Tuesday.
In 2009, a helicopter operated by PHI crashed en route to a Gulf of Mexico oil platform, killing two pilots and six of seven passengers aboard. Investigators suspected that a bird struck the aircraft.
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