Dec. 14--KNOXVILLE -- A Tennessee Army National Guard helicopter on a routine night training flight made an emergency landing Friday in West Knox County.
The two pilots on board made it out of the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior on their own, said Maj. Gen. Max Haston, state adjutant general and commander of the Tennessee National Guard.
The Guardsmen, both members of Knoxville's 230th Air Cavalry Squadron, appeared to have suffered minor injuries and were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Their names weren't immediately available.
"They got out and they walked to the road," Haston said at the scene.
The helicopter came down about 6:45 p.m. in a field near Yarnell and Carmichael roads, Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones said.
Darrell Eubanks, who lives nearby, said he heard the helicopter hit the ground as he watched television.
"It made a loud boom, and it sounded like they hit something," he said. "A neighbor called and said a helicopter crashed into a tree. It's not an everyday kind of thing."
The Kiowa had some kind of mechanical problem before the pilots brought it down. The nature of the problem was unclear tonight.
Fire broke out when the aircraft reached the ground, and it suffered at least some fire damage, Haston said. Accident teams were being called out to the scene to determine what happened to the aircraft.
Both people on board were certified pilots, one more senior than the other, Haston said.
Two soldiers of the 230th, 1st Lt. Thomas Joseph Williams Jr. and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Cole, died in July 2011 when their helicopter, also a Kiowa Warrior, crashed after striking power lines during a routine training flight over Campbell County.
More details as they develop online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.
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