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Mechanical problems are the cause for the fatal helicopter crash on September 8 in New Jersey that claimed the life of Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry.


According to the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot reported he couldn’t control the RPM of the engine just a few minutes after takeoff. He discussed options for landing with two flight instructors on the ground, and they decided he would stop the engine and perform something called an autorotation. It was a maneuver the experienced pilot had performed several times before.

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The reports reads, “During the descent, the rotor rpm decayed to the point where the instructor could see the individual rotor blades. The helicopter descended from view prior to reaching the runway threshold and the sounds of impact were heard.”

The pilot was also killed in the crash. The listed reason for the flight was “to provide an orientation/pleasure flight to the passenger who was scheduled to perform in a concert on the airport later that evening.”

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Montgomery Gentry was to play a concert at the Flying W Airport & Resort that night.

Troy Gentry will be remembered with a celebration of life service at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET. The service will be livestreamed at Opry.com/Troy-Gentry.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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