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Helicopter pilot who died in fiery I-10 crash identified

Joshua Hawley worked as a pilot and Fleet and Technology Manager for the Five-S Group, a construction company out of Baton Rouge.

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities identified the pilot who died after his helicopter crashed into the Interstate 10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge on Tuesday as Joshua Hawley of Livingston Parish.

Hawley worked as a pilot and Fleet and Technology Manager for the Five-S Group, a construction company out of Baton Rouge.

He was a father of three children, all under the age of eight. 

Hawley wrote on his LinkedIn page, “I am a Certified Flight Instructor providing Part 61 Helicopter Flight Instruction in the Baton Rouge Area. “I have sixteen years experience in the aviation community. I repaired aircraft electrical systems and avionics for thirteen years and have been a helicopter pilot since 2014."

Hawley is also the owner, pilot and flight instructor at Airspeed Flight Service L.L.C. in the Baton Rouge area. The helicopter, which was owned by RC Smith Aviation, LLC, also out of Baton Rouge, was headed to the New Orleans Lakefront Airport.

Credit: WWL-TV

“We were notified by the Coast Guard that aircraft was coming here,” Lakefront Aviation Director Bruce Martin told WWL-TV. “They asked if we had any information on it. It had departed from Gonzales. We didn’t have any information other than it was coming into one of our Fixed Base Operators to pick up passengers and it never made it in.”

En route to Lakefront, the helicopter clipped an Entergy Louisiana transmission line and fell into the eastbound lane of I-10, near milepost 212 in St. Charles Parish.

Entergy Louisiana said that the crash caused damage to transmission infrastructure and knocked out power to around 20,000 customers.

"All indications are that the helicopter coming into contact with our lines caused the outage," an Entergy spokesperson said.

Hawley was the only person aboard the helicopter at the time of the crash.

A National Transportation Safety Board team is in Louisiana investigating the accident. The wreckage was taken to an undisclosed secure location in Baton Rouge for inspection.

"Part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, maintenance records and the pilot's medical records," a spokesperson for the NTSB said. "The NTSB investigator will look at the human, machine and environment as the outline of the investigation."

It’s unclear how long it will take for the NTSB to determine the exact cause of the accident. The inspector in charge was not available for comment today.

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