UPDATE: Witnesses warned helicopter pilot killed in crash not to fly

Man may have been drinking before crash
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
Floyd Vuncannon during an interview with Region 8 News in 2010 (Source: KAIT)
Floyd Vuncannon during an interview with Region 8 News in 2010 (Source: KAIT)
Floyd Vuncannon (Source: KAIT)
Floyd Vuncannon (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Witnesses tell investigators a man killed in a helicopter crash Sunday had been drinking and was told not to fly.

Floyd Vuncannon, 72, of Jonesboro died when his helicopter crashed Sunday afternoon at the Classic Airstrip on Highway 18.

Craighead County sheriff's investigators interviewed two men who witnessed the crash, according to the initial incident report.

One of the men said that Vuncannon was "intoxicated" and had been told not to fly anything.

The second witness corroborated the first's account, saying Vuncannon had been "drinking for some time" before he got into the helicopter.

The man added that Vuncannon "took off from his hangar before pulling back at a 45-degree angle."

The helicopter then stalled approximately 125-150 feet in the air before descending toward the ground.

The witness said the helicopter began to spin again before going back up to 150 feet in the air.

"The aircraft then made a descent nose first into the ground," the report stated. "It immediately burst into flames."

Sheriff Marty Boyd told Region 8 News that investigators cannot say whether Vuncannon was intoxicated or not.

The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for an autopsy and toxicology report.

The Craighead County Sheriff's Office conducted the initial crash investigation; but, Boyd says the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board is now in charge of the investigation.

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