UVALDE, Texas -- The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on a deadly helicopter crash that killed a newlywed couple from Uvalde on Thursday.
- No definitive cause
- Weather was clear with 10-mile visibility
- Hillside prevented detailed examination
The preliminary report given on what happened shortly after newlyweds William Byler and Bailee Ackerman Byler said "I Do” does not give a definitive cause for the crash.
The report indicated the helicopter crashed into the side of a nearly 1,500-foot hill about 100 feet from the apex.
The crash site was about five miles east of the Byler family ranch, where the pair got married.
According to the report, the personal helicopter, owned by the Byler family, departed from the ranch around 11:45 p.m.
The pilot, 76-year-old Gerald Lawrence, crashed into the hill around 12:01 a.m.
All three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.
Around the time of the crash, a weather observation facility in the area recorded a clear sky and a light breeze with 10 miles of visibility.
The sheriff's office was notified of a possible downed aircraft and through a search effort, the aircraft wreckage was located at daybreak.
"The terrain is terrible, it's the side of a mountain. It was pitch dark, there's no lights, no anything. So they went very close to the site that it ended up being but we needed daylight for helicopters to fly and that's exactly what happened,” Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner said.
The report stated the hillside prevented a detailed examination of the wreckage on site, and debris was spread an estimated 75 to 100 yards.
The helicopter was taken to a salvage facility for further examination.
The NTSB will release more in-depth report within a year. A probable cause will be determined two months after that report is released.