ABINGDON, Va. — The body of a Blountville helicopter pilot who crashed late Friday night into South Holston Lake was recovered Monday afternoon.
The Virginia State Police reports Bill R. Starnes, 64, was located in approximately 80 feet of water at approximately 3 p.m. Starnes was found about 100 yards from the helicopter wreckage.
Starnes was piloting a Bell helicopter owned and operated by the Food City grocery story chain. He was the lone occupant of the helicopter when it crashed upside down at approximately 10: 30 Friday night. He had just taken off from the back yard of a home owned by Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer of Abingdon-based K-VA-T Inc..