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Two cops killed in horror police helicopter crash after hitting power lines

Two veteran cops were killed in a horror police helicopter crash after their aircraft collided with power lines in the United States.

Moments before the crash, which occurred in Tennessee at around 4pm on Tuesday (August 23), the aircraft was reportedly seen flying 'erratically' in circles.

Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Sergeant Lee Russell was killed alongside his passenger Marion County Sherriff's deputy Matt Blansett when their helicopter crashed into a wooded area near Aetna Mountain in Whiteside, Tennessee.

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Officials said they had recovered the aircraft by Tuesday evening, but it remains unclear what prompted its final fatal plunge to the ground.

Tributes were paid to Blansett, who was described as someone who would always 'lend a helping hand', by a neighbour in a Facebook post.

Blansett, who was a local GOP commissioner who ran for re-election earlier this year, leaves behind a wife, Codie, and two sons, Maddox and Banks.

Recounting the moment Codie learned the tragic news of her husband's death online, neighbour Kari Rosado paid tribute to Blansett.

Rosado wrote: "We live on a private road where all of our neighbours look out for each other like family.

"After the search tonight at on the other side of the mountain I was hoping for good news."

Rosado added: "When I saw the police vehicle pull in the driveway next door, my heart sank.

"There will not be anymore joking about the lawns being cut at the same time or trying to get Matt to workout all that chick fil A he eats. He was a good man and will be missed dearly. Life on our street won’t be the same.

One witness reportedly described seeing a black helicopter flying in circles: "It kind of dipped a little bit and waggled a little bit then there was a bright flash of light and puff of smoke," the witness said.

"It hit one of the power lines that went across the highway and sure enough the power lines started gliding down toward me and all I could think was it’s going to land on top of me."

A Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson confirmed that the helicopter struck the power lines crossing Interstate-24, draping the lines across the highway.

The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash, with the NTSB leading the investigation.

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