Two killed in experimental helicopter crash

A helicopter has crashed near the community of Italy in Ellis County, leaving two crew members dead.

The Bell 525 aircraft went down while conducting developmental flight test operations from their Xworx site in Arlington, according to a statement released by the helicopter manufacturer.

The helicopter was reportedly flying in formation with two other aircraft when it went down, burst into flames and was immediately destroyed.

Much of the debris was localized to the immediate crash site, however parts were spotted hundreds of feet away, including a section of the aircraft’s boom, which was located 1,500 feet to the southeast.

The Bell 525 Relentless is under development by Bell Helicopters and made its first test flight in July, 2015. The aircraft is capable of carrying up to 20 passengers, and has a maximum cruise speed of 162 knots and a maximum flying range of 570 nautical miles.

The helicopter was still in the testing phase and used a new kind of rotor system. Investigators are likely to look into if there was a problem with that system, as well as if the wind factored into the accident.

The accident occurred at 11:45 a.m., on Wednesday.

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