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  • #61
    Bell 47 Down: Merced, California

    A 41-year-old helicopter pilot remained in critical condition late Friday (18th July) at a regional hospital after the helicopter he was flying crashed into a watermelon field near Merced Regional Airport in California (approximately 80 miles east of San Jose).

    The pilot, whose name has not yet been released, was spraying chemicals over a cornfield about 7:30 a.m. when he lost control of the helicopter, according to Kathleen Hennessy, spokeswoman for the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

    The Bell 47-G2A helicopter (unconfirmed registration N47DT) hit a set of utility guy wires causing the aircraft to crash and burst into flames, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said.

    Two witnesses, whose identities could not be confirmed, pulled the man from the fiery crash according to Capt. B.J. Jones of the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. “One man was apparently walking his dog and the other was in a house nearby and heard the helicopter blades hit the ground,” Jones said.

    Roberto Onofre witnessed the crash while working in a field nearby. Speaking through an interpreter, Onofre said he saw the aircraft tangled in the overhead wires and go down in the field. He said the helicopter appeared to roll when it hit the ground. No one else was involved in the crash.

    The Sheriff’s Department turned over the investigation over to Cal-OSHA and the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The helicopter pilot is employed by Bettencourt Flying Service of Atwater, authorities reported.

    Hennessy said it was too early to confirm what may have caused the crash but that all indications pointed towards a wire strike.

    Crash site photos:

    The Bell 47 (believed to be N47DT owned by Bettencourt Flying Service) which crashed in a melon field near Merced Airport during aerial application (crop dusting) operations

    The utility wire which was hit by the helicopter



    • #62
      Hughes 500 Down: Washington State

      A helicopter crashed Tuesday as it was lifting cedar blocks during a logging operation near Oso, Washington, injuring the sole occupant.

      The 63-year-old pilot was conscious and breathing after the crash, and he was reported to have facial and possible internal injuries, said Chad Clark, chief of patrol operations with the Skagit County sheriff's office.

      Olympic Air's Hughes 500D which crashed near Oso in Washington injuring the pilot

      The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

      The pilot had landed to pick up cedar blocks. As he was taking off when the tail of the helicopter "clipped a logging cable, spun out of control and crashed in a clear cut," Clark said.

      Rescue workers assist in the post-crash recovery

      The logging work was not connected to activities involving the Oso landslide that killed 43 people in March, Clark added. No other injuries were reported.

      The helicopter, a Hughes 500D, crashed at about noon, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating along with the National Transportation Safety Board.

      The area in which the helicopter crashed

      FAA records show the helicopter (N5225C) is registered to Olympic Air Inc. A man who answered the phone Tuesday at the Shelton-based company declined to comment.

      AN Note:

      This helicopter was previously involved in another logging-related accident in April 2003:



      • #63
        Bell 206 Down: Nebraska

        A Bell 206 JetRanger was involved in a crash landing on 26th July in Lincoln, Nebraska when, according to reports, the pilot (Al Curnan of Florida) suffered an engine failure while spraying crops close to Yankee Hill Road, near Highway 2.

        Bell 206 N204SJ which crashed yesterday while spraying in Nebraska

        Following the engine failure the pilot carried-out an emergency landing in a bean field. The aircraft was damaged during the landing.

        Curnan was the sole occupant on board the aircraft and is said to have walked away without injury.


        • #64
          AS350 Down: Italy

          An AS350B3 Ecureuil (Scoiattolo) has crashed on the shores of Lake Salto, approximately 75kms to the northeast of Rome, on 27th July.

          EliOssola's AS350B3 I-LUPU which has crashed on the shores of Lake Salto

          The pilot and one passenger were killed in the crash while a third passenger was taken to Gemelli hospital in Rome with serious injuries.

          Eyewitnesses who saw the helicopter variously describe the helicopter as having had some trouble before crashing while others say the aircraft struck a cable which was strung across the lake while flying at low level.

          Sources indicate the helicopter may have been on a fire department training flight.

          The pilot and a helicopter mechanic died in the crash

          The helicopter was operated by Domodossola based EliOssola.

          Sole survivor: 36 year old Davide Barone (an employee of EliOssola) was the only survivor of the crash

          The helicopter may have hit a wire suspended over part of the lake

          The helicopter had recently been engaged in firefighting support for the Lazio Region

          The pilot is said to have died on impact while the helicopter engineer died while being recovered from the aircraft. The survivor, Davide Barone, was airlifted by an Elitaliana '118 Rescue' helicopter to Rome.


          • #65
            MD 500 Down: Ohio

            A pilot suffered serious injuries when he lost control of his tree-trimming helicopter and crashed Thursday afternoon (29th July) in Logan County, authorities say.

            Logan County law-enforcement and fire departments were called at 4:45 p.m. to the crash site, which was in the area of Township Road 188, near the Liberty Hills Golf Club.

            The pilot, Leo Boucher, 50, of Manchester, N.H., was in serious condition at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.

            The MD/Hughes 500 (N89ZC) which crashed in Logan County, Ohia while sawing trees

            The State Highway Patrol said that Boucher crashed into a tree line.

            Boucher’s boss, Lane Loeffler of Rotor Blade of South Carolina, said the company has been trimming trees around power lines off Township Road 188 near West Liberty in Logan County.

            He suspects that the helicopter, which was about 100 feet off the ground when it crashed, struck a deer stand that Boucher didn’t see.

            The helicopter was hung up in the tree branches.

            After Boucher was rescued and taken to Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, he was taken by medical helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

            The Dispatch spent some time with Boucher on Monday as he used the helicopter to clear trees for the 16-mile Urbana-Bellefontaine Connector bike path. A crowd of spectators gathered to watch. The tree-trimming project costs about $50,000.

            “It's like using a chainsaw,” Boucher said at the time. The “chainsaw” is actually several blades, each spinning about 5,000 revolutions per minute, about 80 feet below his helicopter. Metal poles connect the blade device to the helicopter.

            Boucher talked briefly about the benefits of using the helicopter, and about his own safety.

            “They use the helicopter to do this as a last resort, obviously, although it is faster to use the aerial saw than to do it by ground – and cheaper. Like twice as cheap,” he said.

            “The other thing is, on the safety side of it, you've only got one piece of equipment, and one soul, actually out there in harm's way,” Boucher noted.

            The State Highway Patrol has called in the Federal Aviation Administration to help with the investigation of the crash.

            Video footage of the helicopter, with pilot Leo Boucher, before the crash:



            Update 1

            Troopers of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol talked with pilot Leo Boucher, 50, of Manchester, N.H., on Wednesday and he reported that neither the helicopter nor the 10-bladed saw unit hit anything.

            "It appears that the helicopter’s turbine engine malfunctioned", the Troopers said.

            Post crash recovery photos:

            The Hughes 500's tail section is removed from the crash site

            A crane was brought in to remove the fuselage from the crash site

            N89ZC is lifted from the crash site


            • #66
              R44 Down: Nebraska

              Some of Dixon County, Nebraska, is without power after a crop dusting helicopter (believed to be a Robinson R44) came into contact with power lines and crashed Thursday afternoon July 31st.

              The first call came in at 3:43pm. A Dixon County Deputy Sheriff told News 4 that the helicopter crashed in a cornfield near Concord, Nebraska. The crash site is near the intersection of 579th Avenue and 867th Road. According to authorities, a downdraft wind may also be to blame for the crash. An FAA investigation will determine the true cause of the crash.

              At the time of the crash, the helicopter was being used for crop dusting.

              There was only one person on board. The pilot was taken to Mercy Medical Center, in Sioux City, with non-life threatening injuries.

              Crash site images:

              The power lines which the helicopter hit


              • #67
                R44 Down: Ireland

                A Robinson R44 has crashed today near the village on Kinnitty in the county of Offaly in the Republic of Ireland.

                County Offaly is in central Ireland

                The accident occurred at around 4pm this afternoon when the pilot (John Butler), who was the only occupant of the helicopter, was on his way to collect a newly married couple from a field in Kinnitty village who had just been married in the local church.

                Mr Butler had been on his way to collect two newly-weds to transport them to their wedding reception at Rackett Hall in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Evelyn Butler, the wife of Mr Butler, confirmed her husband had crashed the helicopter.

                The helicopter crashed about 500 metres from where the wedding party were assembled - “We heard the chopper very close and it was very low to the ground,” said eyewitness Micheal Coughlan. “Then we heard a thud and we heard some metal breaking. We jumped in a car and drove to the site and there was the pilot getting out of the wreck. “He had only a scratch on his arm... it is remarkable how unscathed he was given what happened.”

                Mrs Butler told the Irish Independent: "I don't know exactly what happened, but John phoned the office after the accident. I was at my sister's house, and they called me to tell me what happened. They said nobody was injured but that there had just been an accident." Mrs Butler said that it "goes without saying" that she was relieved to discover her husband was safe.

                John and Evelyn Butler are the parents of the late Aisling Butler (26), a doctor who was killed on Air France 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.

                Mrs Butler explained: "John has been flying helicopters for years. He's a qualified pilot. The helicopter is our own, we've had it since before Aisling's accident. I don't like talking about Aisling's accident. There's too many memories. With the Malaysia Airlines crash recently, we have no peace really."

                Eyewitness accounts state the the helicopter hit a set of wires during its approach to land.




                • #68
                  R44 Down: Hawaii

                  There were no major injuries after a private helicopter piloted by an eye doctor made a hard landing at Honolulu International Airport on Friday afternoon.

                  According to investigators, ophthalmologist and founder of Hawaiian Eye Center John Corboy had taken two teenagers on a day trip to Molokai. Corboy has a residence on the island and flies the helicopter between Honolulu and Molokai regularly.

                  R44 N110JC which crashed at Honolulu Airport on Friday 1st August

                  Dominic Mills-Patrick, 17, and Nic Politsch, 16, who are the sons of close friends of Corboy, said the trip was uneventful until the helicopter was about to land. The group was returning from the Friendly Isle aboard Corboy's Robinson R-44 helicopter, which can carry a pilot and three passengers.

                  "As we came to land, there was a gust of wind I guess, and we started to shift to the right and we started to go up," said Mills-Patrick. "And then Dr. Corboy, he started to say a few things like... I could tell something was wrong."

                  Politsch said there was a tank of fuel close to where the helicopter landed hard and then ended up on its side.

                  The helicopter is said to have lost control on landing and may have hit a fuel truck

                  On his thoughts which raced through his head in those moments: "I hope we survive this. I can't believe this is happening. And I hope we don't hit the fuel tank," Politsch said.

                  "After spinning a few times he put us down, and I guess he put us down a little too hard, but he landed us safely," said Mills-Patrick.

                  Another helicopter pilot nearby was able to pull Corboy, Politsch and Mills-Patrick out of the aircraft.

                  Politsch suffered a cut to his leg. Mills-Patrick was not hurt, and Dr. Corboy also had a few cuts. The doctor declined comment.

                  An investigation is underway by the FAA.

                  Video report:



                  • #69
                    PZL W-3 Sokół Down: Philippines

                    Two persons were hurt after a Sokol helicopter carrying an Army general and providing escort to Cabinet officials crashed in Marawi City yesterday.

                    Army division spokesman Capt. Franco Suelto said the pilot managed to maneuver the ill-fated helicopter and saved 11 passengers, including Maj. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, chief of the 4th Army Division; 4th Infantry Division Inspector-General Col. Alexander Macario, five staff members of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and four crew members, including the two pilots.

                    The AgustaWestland Świdnik PZL W-3 Sokół​ which crashed in Marawi City in the Philippines on 7th August

                    Injured were Staff Sergeant Darius Valdez, crew of the Sokol 921 and Santiago Savedra, a bystander who was hit by debris during the crash.

                    The helicopter crashed at 2:23 p.m. shortly after takeoff from the 103rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Marawi City.

                    “The Sokol helicopter barely took off when the incident happened. It was fortunate that the pilot managed to maneuver and made a forced landing,” Suelto said.

                    The helicopter, a backup for another Sokol carrying Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, reportedly lost control after it was buffeted by heavy winds.

                    “As a result of the crash, one crew from the chopper was wounded in action while another civilian was injured,” Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.

                    The helicopter which crashed was part of a consignment of PZL W-3 Sokół​'s which were delivered to the Philippine Air Force

                    The helicopters were en route to Cagayan de Oro City.

                    The other Sokol carrying the Cabinet officials arrived safely at the Langundingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro.

                    Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang has ordered Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado to determine the cause of the accident.

                    Visaya said he was in Marawi City to accompany Gazmin, Roxas and Petilla as they try to solve the power problems in the area.

                    He said the helicopter appeared to have difficulty flying around two to three minutes after it took off, at about 15 meters above ground.

                    “The helicopter turned left and then crashed. It did not explode so no one among us died,” Visaya said.

                    Suelto added the helicopter that crashed was among the eight Sokol delivered in 2012 to the Philippine Air Force.


                    • #70
                      Bell 47 Down: Louisiana

                      On Sunday August 10th at 10:20 a.m. deputies with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a helicopter crash near U.S. Hwy 90 and Hubertville Road around Jeanerette.

                      An Iberia Parish patrol car attends the crash site

                      First responders located the Bell 47 helicopter, equipped with crop-dusting materials, crashed near a cane field north of US 90 and west of Hubertville Road. Medical emergency officials found the pilot with no signs of life, and the Iberia Parish Coroner's Office pronounced him dead at the scene.

                      The wrecked Bell 47

                      The National Traffic Safety Board and two members of the Federal Aviation Administration arrived on scene to conduct a preliminary investigation. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

                      The late Ken Squires at the controls of a Bell 47

                      The pilot has been identified as Kenneth E. Squires, 60, of Jeanerette. Mr. Squires was a long-time pilot and had been involved in agricultural crop-dusting for more than three decades.


                      • #71
                        Bell 47 Down: Illinois

                        A veteran helicopter pilot from Piatt County was killed Tuesday 12th August in the morning when his crop-dusting Bell 47 clipped a power line and went down in a bean field not far from his home.

                        The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Piatt County Sheriff’s Office and the Piatt County Coroner.

                        The helicopter which crashed was a Bell 47 owned by Paul Reynolds of Reynolds Air Service, who perished in the crash

                        “The pilot was found under the wreckage deceased. He did clip some power lines,” said Todd Jones, chief of the Northern Piatt County Fire Protection District. “There was some chemical leakage from the aircraft but it was contained to one small area.”

                        About 10:45 a.m., emergency responders were sent to a field about 2 1/2 miles north of Mansfield where they found a helicopter upside down in a field of mature soybeans northwest of the intersection of Piatt County roads 3200 and 1300 E in the northeast corner of Piatt County.

                        The helicopter crashed as a result of hitting this power line

                        Mr. Reynolds ran his own crop-dusting business, Reynolds Aerial Service, since 2009, and was assisted by two of his daughters. He had been trained to fly helicopters in the Army and flew in Operation Desert Storm.

                        Piatt County Sheriff J.D. Russell said a resident in that area saw the helicopter go down and called for help.

                        Paul Reynolds at the controls of his helicopter perched on top of a mobile refuelling truck. Also pictured is daughter Kelsy Reynolds, who is also a qualified helicopter pilot

                        The location where he crashed was not a field Mr. Reynolds had been hired to spray, Russell said. Instead, he was on his way to another job when he clipped the high-power line.

                        The crash site is about 5 miles north of the home that he shared with his wife and children until recently. Some of his family members were at the scene within a short time of the crash.

                        Paul Reynolds with Reynolds Air Services Bell 47 N176MR

                        The crash scene was also not far from where Mr. Reynolds was seriously injured 15 months ago in a different kind of vehicle collision.

                        On May 8, 2013, Mr. Reynolds was riding his motorcycle south in the 2700 block of Piatt County Road 1500 E — about 2 miles from his home — when he was hit by a Mahomet teen, causing him to put his cycle down.

                        Wesley Luster, now 20 and living in Champaign, was pulling a trailer loaded with lawn equipment when he ran over Mr. Reynolds, dragging him for several yards before pulling into a gravel drive. The seriously injured Mr. Reynolds was dislodged and Luster ran over him a second time before fleeing the scene. Luster ultimately pleaded guilty in Piatt County Circuit Court to leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and four years of probation, which his is still serving.

                        In a January story in The News-Gazette, Mr. Reynolds shared details of his months-long recovery from being run over — both the grueling physical injuries and the financial setback he suffered as a result of being unable to fly his helicopter for months.

                        The Reynolds Air Services hangar in Mansfield, Illinois

                        FAA records show that in January, Mr. Reynolds regained his medical certificate, enabling him to fly again.

                        He was rated to fly both single-engine aircraft and helicopters. In addition to his private pilot’s license, he also had a commercial pilot rating and was rated to fly his helicopter under instrument conditions — that is, when the forward visibility is less than three miles and the cloud ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

                        Mr. Reynolds was dealt another serious setback in late June when he was arrested for allegedly molesting young girls.

                        He was formally charged in Piatt County Circuit Court on July 25 with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for contact that allegedly happened with one 15-year-old girl between September 2005 and September 2006. He was also charged with the less serious felony offense of sexual exploitation of a child for conduct that allegedly occurred in the spring of 2011 with a different 15-year-old girl. Out on bond, he was tentatively scheduled to be tried by a jury in October. A condition of his bond was that he have no contact with his marital residence on County Road 1300 E in Piatt County.

                        Mr. Reynolds was represented by Urbana attorney Tom Bruno.

                        “Paul was a veteran of the U.S. military, a very successful entrepreneur, and a charismatic fellow whose family loved him dearly,” said Bruno.

                        Bruno was last in court with Mr. Reynolds last week when they were going to try to modify the bond so that he could return to the family home. Bruno said they decided to withdraw the request and the case was continued until Sept. 22.


                        • #72
                          R44 Down: Wisconsin

                          A Robinson R44 has crashed in a soybean field near Substation Road between Lancaster and Potos in Wisconsin on 13th August.

                          Dale Elio, 54, was spraying insecticide on fields at about 11:30 a.m. when his helicopter’s main rotor hit nearby power lines, plunging him into the ground.

                          The R44 which crashed in southwest Wisconsin on 13th August

                          “The rest is history,” the Pleasant Prairie man said. “From start to finish, it was about three seconds. There’s not a whole lot of time to think about things.”

                          Elio received minor cuts, which were bandaged at the scene. He refused further medical treatment. “I’m fine and feeling better,” he said a little more than an hour after the crash.

                          According to Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman, who was in the area at the time, the Robinson R44 helicopter was flying on the edge of the beanfield, parallel with the power line, and made a turn to go back across the field. It was too close to the line. Dreckman said Elio was able to set the chopper down, but it fell over.

                          The Grant Count Sheriff's Department attended the crash site

                          “He was out walking around when I got there,” he added. “Considering the way the copter looked, his injuries were pretty minor.”

                          Elio was flying for Back 9 Aerial of East Troy, Wis., which had been hired to spray by Premier Co-op of Mount Horeb. Mike Voss, who lives near the crash site, said he heard the helicopter all morning. “We were debating whether they were spraying or checking power lines,” he said. “When we heard and saw the police car, we said, ‘Well, we know what happened now.’”

                          Voss jumped on his all-terrain vehicle, accompanied by his dog Magnum, and went to the field where the helicopter crashed.

                          “The gentleman’s walking across the field carrying his helmet,” he said. “That’s the best sight a guy could see. It’s bad that it went down, but it’s good that he walked away.” Voss was surprised Elio survived.

                          54 year old helicopter pilot Dale Elio sits on the back of a paramedic vehicle but did not require any treatment

                          “There’s a lot of amazing things you’ve seen where you don’t expect a guy to make it, and they do,” he said. “And there are times where you don’t figure anything is wrong and it is. It’s just the way it is — a greater power or something.”

                          The crash triggered a brief power outage. The helicopter damaged a transmission line belonging to Dairyland Power Cooperative, causing 1,559 Grant County customers to lose power for approximately an hour.

                          About 800 customers of Jo-Carroll Energy also lost electricity as a result of the crash, according to the company. The areas affected included portions of rural East Dubuque and Galena, Ill. Power was restored to those customers at about 12:20 p.m., the company said.


                          • #73
                            Hiller Down: New Jersey

                            A Hiller 12-E N4035A has crashed in Cape May Court House, in Cape May County, New Jersey. The helicopter came down near a soccer field at about 10:00 am in Middle Township behind 14 S. Boyd St. in Court House.

                            Hiller UH-12E N4035A crashed this morning in Cape May County with the pilot and passenger sustaining only light injuries

                            The helicopter, which is owned by the Cape May County Mosquito Control Commission, was engaged in a routine mosquito surveillance flight when it crashed.

                            The field in which the helicopter crashed is owned by the school district.

                            The Hiller UH-12E, owned by Cape May County Mosquito Control Commission, which crashed this morning

                            A pilot and one passenger were on board the helicopter, both employees of Cape May County, and were taken to Cape Regional Medical Center. The pilot was not injured and the passenger had non life threatening injuries according to police. There were no injuries on the ground and no houses were damaged.

                            An investigation as to why the helicopter crashed is underway.


                            • #74
                              Astar Down: Riverside, California

                              A Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crashed yesterday (28th August) at Hemet-Ryan Airport, largely destroying the aircraft but not seriously injuring the two-person crew.

                              The Riverside County Sheriff's Department AS350 'Astar' which crashed yesterday during a training flight at Hemet-Ryan Airport

                              The mishap occurred at around 11am during a training exercise on the northern end of the airfield, according to the Sheriff’s Department officials. “While low-flying over the runway, the helicopter crashed,” said Deputy Albert Martinez. He said the crew members walked away with minor injuries and were transported to a hospital for treatment.

                              N991SD in better days

                              The FAA is handling the accident investigation. Agency spokesman Ian Gregor told City News Service that the helicopter pilot was “practicing landing with a simulated engine power outage” (also known as an autorotation) when the helicopter plowed into the 

                              It’s unclear if the pilot lost control or misjudged his practice emergency landing.

                              Photographs from the scene showed the chopper on its side with the entire tail assembly sheared off and the craft’s main rotors bent.

                              N994SD (a sister ship to the accident aircraft) seen here in a brief video clip

                              Additional crash site images:



                              • #75
                                LongRanger Down: Zimbabwe

                                A Bell 206L LongRanger III operated by the Zambezi Helicopter Company (ZHC) has crashed yesterday (30th August) during take-off for a tourist flight over the Victoria Falls.

                                ZHC Public Relations Manger Clement Mukwasi stated that the helicopter, carrying six passengers, had performed a 'hard landing' shortly after take-off.

                                Bell 206L III Z-SCA operated by Zambezi Helicopter Company which crashed yesterday (Photo: Philippe Devos)

                                The six passengers on board the helicopter were all Americans and were named as: James Mitchell, Elizabeth Hamilton, William Leur, Elizabeth Benevides, Debbie Lonechamps and Stephanie Black. Of these passengers four were returned to their hotels after receiving first aid treatment after the crash while two were taken to the 'Medicare' clinic for treatment of minor injuries.

                                The Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority have stated that they will be investigating the accident but as yet are unsure as to what may have caused the hard landing. While Zambezi Helicopters suspended flights yesterday after the crash they have stated that the will resume operations today 31st August.

                                ZHC is one of two tourist operators flying helicopters over the Victoria Falls. There are also three Zambian operators who provide the same service. ZHC market their services in association with Shearwater Adventures and offer a 'Flight of Angels' tour over the falls.

                                Editor's Note:
                                The cause of this accident is (as yet) unknown and may bear no relation to this comment. However, having flown for many years in Africa (including the 206 and 206L series) in both Zambia and Zimbabwe and with an average density altitude at Victoria Falls of some 4,000 ft. one thing I can say with certainty is that, irrespective of how little fuel I had on board, I wouldn't be carrying six grown adults .. even in a mark III LongRanger.


                                • #76
                                  Hughes 500 Down: Glenn County, California

                                  A former Butte County Sheriff's Office pilot was injured Tuesday when the private helicopter he was flying crashed near Willows.

                                  Ron Chaplin, 67, of Willows, was flying a Hughes 500D helicopter about 1:07 p.m., when the craft came down in an almond orchard west of Glenn County Road D, off Highway 162, Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said.

                                  PJ Helicopters Hughes 500D N516PJ which crashed on 2nd September

                                  He was found outside the wreckage, but witnesses said he was conscious and alert. Chaplain was taken by helicopter to Enloe Medical Center in Chico where he was in fair condition.

                                  His injuries were described as moderate.

                                  Chaplin, a veteran pilot, was flying for PJ Helicopters out of Red Bluff, on a contract with PG&E, Jones said.

                                  He was about to pick up PG&E workers at the time of the crash.

                                  The helicopter crashed into an almond orchard

                                  The two-man work crew would have been suspended underneath the helicopter while it was in flight hovering above towers and a separate work crew underneath, Jones said.

                                  "If he would have picked up those workers and this catastrophic event had happened at that time to this helicopter we could have had a very, very frightful event here that would have been disastrous," Jones said.

                                  The two men who were awaiting to be picked up by Chaplin witnesses the helicopter going down and called 9-1-1.

                                  Jones said Chaplin told someone he heard an abnormal noise prior to the helicopter going down, but the sheriff was not aware if he had radioed to report any issues.

                                  He had just taken off from the Willows Airport, which is two miles east of the crash site, Jones said.

                                  Mark Gunsauls with PJ Helicopters said Chaplin has been with the company since 1981.

                                  Chaplin flew helicopters for the Butte County Sheriff's Office for many years before retiring.

                                  Gunsauls said there were no indication that there was an issue with the helicopter prior to the accident.

                                  The Glenn County Sheriff's Office said the investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

                                  PJ Helicopters took custody of the helicopter and was planning to transport it to its facility in Red Bluff where investigators with NTSB and FAA will inspect the helicopter.


                                  • #77
                                    Mi-8 Down: Krasnodar Krai, Russia

                                    An Mi-8 helicopter has crashed at Gelendzhik Airport in Krasnodar Krai, Russia killing two and injuring one.

                                    The Helicopter, RA-24255 owned by PANH Airways, was landing at Gelendzhik Airport on 4th September when, from observation, it seemed to enter 'settling with power' resulting in a heavy landing which broke the tailboom causing the aircraft to lose control while close to the ground. While at full power but without directional control, the helicopter began to rotate and, as it did so, ruptured an external fuel tank resulting in the immediate ignition of the fuel.




                                    • #78
                                      R44 Down: Roeselare, Belgium

                                      Two people have been killed in a helicopter crash near the football stadium Schiervelde in Roeselare. The helicopter crashed just after takeoff.

                                      "The helicopter was being operated by a private company to follow the Tour of Flanders" sais Rudy Cracco of Police RIHO. The Robinson R44 crashed at the edge of the parking lot of KSV Roeselare whereupon it immediately caught fire killing both persons on board.

                                      The official response of the ConXioN Tour of Flanders shows that the helicopter was not used by the organization itself. "It was a commercial partner," said Hugo Van Opstal of the Automobile Club Central Flanders.




                                      • #79
                                        Bell 206L Down: Cochise County, Arizona

                                        A Bell 206L LongRanger IV operated by the Cochise County Sheriff's Department made a 'hard landing' on Friday 12th September at around 11:00am near 1037 Old Bisbee Highway.

                                        “Cochise Air 2" was in the air at 10:15 a.m. in the area of Autumn Lane in Palominas. We had a report of a lot of heavy black smoke in the area. They flew over that and determined it was a controlled burn,”
                                        said Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

                                        The helicopter returned from Palominas to the Sierra Vista Municipal Airport before taking off again to survey the county. It was at this point that the unknown issue forcing the landing occurred.

                                        The helicopter had been conducting “a normal daily flight pattern” when it checked on the reports of smoke in Palominas, Capas said.

                                        The Sierra Vista police officer on board the helicopter was Officer Justin Dannels, according to Cpl. Scott Borgstadt, public information officer for the police department.

                                        Officer Dannels and pilot Larry Pucci were examined by medical personnel and released at the scene, Capas said.

                                        Airwest Helicopters, LLC, the owners and operators of the helicopter for the sheriff’s office during its year-long pilot program, will be sending a replacement helicopter to the county by the end of the week.

                                        In a statement, Sheriff Mark Dannels commended the actions of the pilot to allow the situation to end without injury, adding that this incident would not hinder his office’s effort to use a helicopter in support of its goals.

                                        “We will continue on our mission to use air support as a positive asset for all public safety in Cochise County and our deepest appreciation goes to the Airwest company for allowing us to meet this mission head on,” Dannels said.

                                        Cochise County Sheriff's Department Bell 206L N64AW (operated by Airwest Helicopters) after its hard landing yesterday morning

                                        The helicopter's skids were splayed and the tailboom severed during the landing

                                        No serious injuries were reported to either pilot Larry Pucci or observer Justin Dannels

                                        Cochise "Air 2" seen here with its tailboom severed and shortly after the arrival of emergency services on Old Bisbee Highway

                                        The helicopter's front and rear cross-tubes were heavily splayed during the landing

                                        The LongRanger's shorn-off tailpiece can be seen placed under the rear of the fuselage

                                        Airwest Helicopters Chief Pilot Greg Barlow briefs a member of the Cochine County Sheriff's Department at Sierra Vista Municipal Airport in June 2014 when the helicopter began its year long trial programme with the Department

                                        N64AW in better days


                                        • #80
                                          Bell 206 Down: East Yorkshire

                                          An Agusta-Bell JetRanger II, G-SUEX, has crashed at Flamborugh Head in East Yorkshire killing both persons on board.

                                          The helicopter was returning to southern England from Scotland and had originally departed from Edinburgh.

                                          Bell 206 G-SUEX (registered to Aerospeed of Southampton) which has crashed today

                                          A major rescue operation involving the police, coast guard and ambulance services was launched to try and free those on board the aircraft, which was said to be "fully submerged" in the sea below the cliffs, near the lighthouse.

                                          An RAF Sea King was also called in to assist and landed near the crash site but was forced to return to its base at Leaconfield, East Yorks, and refuel before continuing with rescue efforts.

                                          An RAF Sea King as well as an MD900 from Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended the crash site

                                          Ministry of Defence firemen with specialist cutters were transported to the scene of the crash.

                                          The helicopter was flying to Humberside Airport in North Lincolnshire having landed at an undisclosed private site en-route from Scotland.

                                          An RAF spokesman said the Jet Ranger Helicopter which crashed was believed to be carrying at least two people.

                                          RAF Rescue and Yorkshire Air Ambulance attend the crash site

                                          He said: “We received reports a Jet Ranger helicopter had crashed in the vicinity of Flamborough Head at the bottom of the cliffs, possibly with two people on board, although it might be more.

                                          The helicopter crashed at Falmborough Head, east of Bridlington in East Yorkshire

                                          “Our aircraft, Rescue 128, based at RAF Leconfield, was training in the area of Bridlington when reports came in from golfers on the ground through the 999 line that they had seen and heard this aircraft go down.

                                          Satellite view showing the crash site location

                                          “The Humber Coastguard then alerted ourselves. “We got the RAF search and rescue call at 1.44pm and were on the scene at 1.47pm. “Our aircraft landed at the bottom of the cliff close to the crash site. “When it got there the tide was in and the crashed aircraft was fully submerged. “Our aircraft started running low on fuel so was forced to return to Leconfield to refuel and pick up some MoD firemen with specialist cutters to help release anyone trapped on board.”

                                          Emergency services responding to the crash assembled at the Flamborough Head golf course

                                          Eyewitnesses told the local press they believed a police helicopter got into difficulties just after 1.30pm.

                                          Chris Feast, from Flamborough Head Golf Club, said a number of golfers had spotted a helicopter trying to land near the 17th green and then reported hearing a ‘loud bang and crash’.

                                          Rescue workers gathered at Flamborough golf course

                                          Another witness Chris Palmer said he heard a loud “crack” and the helicopter disappeared out of sight behind the cliffs. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We heard the helicopter. It was like a white, private helicopter going along the coast. “We all heard this really loud crack and looked up again. “The helicopter started to descend, almost like a plane when it lands. “It then went behind the cliff and that’s when I called the emergency services. “I never actually heard it hit the sea.”

                                          Lifeboats from Bridlington and Flamborough were launched and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance attended the scene.

                                          Flamborough Head

                                          A Humber Coastguard spokesman said: “The aircraft is believed to have been returning to Humberside airport when the incident occurred.

                                          “The Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a call at 1340 this afternoon that a small helicopter had gone into the water below the cliff, between the lighthouse and Flamborough Head Golf Course.

                                          The bodies of those on board the helicopter were recovered this afternoon

                                          “A coastguard officer was winched down to assess the crash site by the search and rescue helicopter from Leconfield.” He said coastguard rescue teams had been sent from Bridlington, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay and Filey. “The shoreside area around the scene has been cordoned to allow rescue efforts to continue,” he said.

                                          Paul Litten, commercial director for the airport, said: "This was a private flight from Durham Tees Valley and was due to arrive with our air traffic controllers later this afternoon. "Police and the coast guard are dealing with the emergency. "I knew it was due in and heard that an aircraft emergency had been called. Our thoughts are with the people on board."

                                          The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has deployed a team to investigate the crash.

                                          Humberside Police confirmed the accident did not involve their helicopter, Oscar 99.

                                          Officers recieved a call from a member of the public at 1.40pm today reporting that a helicopter had crashed into the sea off the coast near Flamborough.

                                          A police spokesman said: “Police, Coast Guard and ambulance service attended the area right away and a search was carried out which resulted in the helicopter being located in the sea off the coast of Flamborough near the light house.

                                          “An area has been cordonend off while the emergency services and coast guard continue their work.

                                          The last photo of G-SUEX taken just minutes before the crash

                                          “Initial inquiries are being made in order to try and establish the circumstances which led to the helicopter coming down.

                                          “Members of public and the media are asked to stay away from the area until further notice due to the site being close to dangerous cliff edges and there also being a quantity of what appears to be aviation fuel in the water around the crash site making it potentially unsafe at present.

                                          “We can confirm that the incident has not involved the Humberside Police Helicopter.”

                                          A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokeswoman said they had sent an ambulance, two rapid response vehicles and a clinical supervisor as well as the air ambulance team.

                                          A door from the helicopter is recovered from the crash site

                                          Flamborough Head, which juts out into the North Sea between the Filey and Bridlington bays, is one of the most spectacular areas of chalk cliffs in Britain.

                                          It boasts one of the most important seabird colonies in Europe with 400ft-high chalk cliffs packed with tens of thousands of breeding auks, gannets and gulls throughout the summer.

                                          The spot is also famous for its historic lighthouse, which was first established in 1669 but was never kindled. The present lighthouse was built in 1806 and became fully automated in early 1996.


                                          • #81
                                            Victims of G-SUEX Crash Named

                                            The victims of the helicopter crash at Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire on 16th September have been named as Brian Bridgman, the pilot, and John Kent who was his passenger.

                                            Brian was Chief Pilot for Manston-based Heli Charter who also serve as the United Kingdom Bell representatives.

                                            Brian Bridgman and John Kent who perished with G-SUEX

                                            Brian Bridgman as seen with G-SUEZ at Bramling in 2009


                                            • #82
                                              Robinson Down: Brazil

                                              A Robinson R44 Raven helicopter (registration PR-CIG) operated by Siderúrgica Gage has crashed in the Furnas Dam (Lago de Furnas) in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil at 12pm midday on 20th September.

                                              The helicopter pilot has been identified as Bruno Abitbol who survived the crash. Also on board were a couple, Marcos Antonio Alves (44) and Lívia Reis Carvalho (26) who died in the accident after being unable to exit the helicopter once it had submerged.



                                              • #83
                                                Katie Bridgman Talks About Losing Her Father

                                                The daughter of Brian Bridgman who died last week while flying G-SUEX (see post #80) has described the heart-stopping moment she read about his death on the internet.

                                                Freelance pilot Brian Bridgman, 58, of The Ropewalk, Canterbury, died when the aircraft he was flying plummeted into the sea off the coast of Yorkshire.

                                                This week, devastated daughter Katie, 31, told KentOnline how she first found out about the tragedy on a news website from her home in Canada.

                                                She said: "Our world will never be the same again. We are truly broken."

                                                The interior designer says her "heart sank" when she read about the crash while browsing MailOnline from her Toronto home – and knew instantly it was her father.

                                                Katie Bridgman with her father Brian who died last week while flying G-SUEX

                                                She explains: "My brother and I were desperately trying to get hold of him.

                                                "We knew very quickly that it was dad because we knew he was flying that route. And then my brother had a knock on the door from police.

                                                "It was horrible, especially being 5,000 miles away in Toronto.

                                                "My husband and I took the first flight to Stansted, where my brother lives."

                                                Despite the efforts of rescue workers, Mr Bridgman and his passenger and close friend John Kent, 50, from Essex, were pronounced dead at the scene last Tuesday.

                                                Paying tribute to her "hero," Katie said: "He had such a special bond with his children. We idolised him and he idolised us. We were his world.

                                                "He was always happy, always smiling and would never say anything bad about anyone.

                                                "He was handsome, kind, caring, sensitive, talented and loved by everyone.

                                                Brian Bridgman with Bell 206 G-ILYA

                                                "He liked poetry and history, and had a passion for shooting. He was also an amazing water-skiier. I have so many memories of an action-packed childhood.

                                                "He was also very fit and active. He was the life of the party and so friendly. He would help anyone.

                                                "He was a lover of life and was in a great place. He saw the best in everything."

                                                Describing her father's caring nature, Katie said he would even ship the best throat sweets to her home in Canada if she ever felt under the weather.

                                                Katie's brother, Tim Bridgman, 29, a racing driver and property developer, added: "We could not be more proud of our father.

                                                "He was a fantastic dad and a brilliant pilot. He was not only a commercial pilot, but was also a qualified flying instructor and a Civil Aviation Authority-approved flight examiner.

                                                "My father absolutely loved flying. He sold his engineering business four years ago so he could pursue his passion full-time.

                                                "Dad was always great company and had a massive circle of friends. He will be hugely missed by everyone he knew, and all those whose lives he touched."

                                                As well as his two children, Mr Bridgman leaves behind his mother, two younger sisters and nephew Toby, 27.

                                                Originally from Loughton in Essex, Mr Bridgman moved to Canterbury a few years ago to be closer to Manston Airport, and also had a home in Islington, London.

                                                He worked with Heli Charter in Manston, and was responsible for conducting flying tests for new and existing commercial pilots.

                                                Before that, he trained as a journalist and then ran his own engineering firm for more than 20 years before giving it up in 2010 to focus on flying.


                                                • #84
                                                  R44 Down: South Africa

                                                  A Robinson R44 belonging to Matrix Vehicle Tracking Services (Mix Telematics) and operated by Rand Airport based Henley Air has crashed near Rand Airport in Johannesburg this afternoon killing both persons on board.

                                                  Matrix Vehicle Tracking helicopter Robinson R44 ZS-OFJ

                                                  The aircraft is believed to have been returning from a vehicle tracking task when the accident happened.

                                                  The crash site revealed that the helicopter was almost completely burnt out

                                                  No further details are available at this time but local police as well as the aviation authorities are attending to the accident.

                                                  The helicopter's tail rotor was one of the few identifiable pieces of wreckage

                                                  MiX Telematics Africa’s Brendan Horan says, “This is certainly a terrible tragedy and our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the people who lost their lives.”


                                                  • #85
                                                    EC130 Down: France

                                                    An EC130B4 registered HB-ZJC and operated by Blécherette based Heli-Lausanne S.A. has crashed in France killing five and injuring two.

                                                    The helicopter was operating a charter flight from Lausanne-Blécherette Airport in Switzerland to Montbéliard-Courcelles Airport in France when just prior to landing it encountered an as yet unknown catastrophic event. Reports indicate that the pilot transmitted a mayday call at 09:40am, just moments before the crash.

                                                    Among the victims were members of the Vaud Federation of Entrepreneurs (FVE), based in Lausanne who are understood to have chartered the helicopter.

                                                    The helicopter crashed into the garden of a suburban house in Bart Montbeliard, some 13 kilometres (8 miles) from the Swiss border, and just meters away from
                                                    Montbéliard airfield French police said.

                                                    Heli-Lausanne EC130B4 HB-ZJC which has crashed today

                                                    Montbeliard in France where the helicopter crashed

                                                    The cause of the accident was not immediately known. Officials rushed to the scene to coordinate emergency services.

                                                    The seven people on board, who have not yet been identified, were six men and one woman aged between 45 and 63.

                                                    Local mayor Pierre Schlatter said that witnesses had told him the helicopter “fell like a stone” just before crashing “only a few metres away” from the house, added the mayor.

                                                    Crash site photos:

                                                    The EC130 crashed into a small building located within the garden of a suburban house located in Bart

                                                    The entire front of the helicopter appears to have been destroyed

                                                    The main rotor and transmission appear to have become detached from the fuselage

                                                    Police inspect the wreckage



                                                    • #86
                                                      Bell 206 Down: Texas

                                                      Three men were injured in a helicopter crash outside of Woodsboro, Texas, near Farm-to-Market Road 136, on Thursday afternoon.

                                                      The helicopter involved was a Bell 206B JetRanger, N49746, owned by Heartland Helicopters of Fort Worth in Texas.

                                                      The pilot of the helicopter, Michael Orlowsky, 48, of West Plains, Mo., told the Texas Department of Public Safety he and two passengers were checking pipelines when the helicopter lost power and had to make an emergency landing.

                                                      Refugio County Sheriff Robert Bolcik inspects Bell 206 N49746 which crashed Thursday 2nd October during a pipeline inspection north of Corpus Christi in Texas

                                                      Orlowsky was transported via HALO-Flight to Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial at about 12:30 pm, said Corpus Christi senior operator Anna Mendez.

                                                      Kevin Douglas Smothers, 44, of Minnesota, and Ronald Justin Dietz, 28, of Sinton, were passengers in the helicopter. Smothers was taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in critical condition with incapacitating injuries. Dietz was taken to Refugio Hospital in stable condition with non incapacitating injuries.

                                                      HALO-Flight officials said they responded to Farm-to-Market Road 136 and Levien Road to pick up the patients.

                                                      Additional crash site images:

                                                      All three on board sustained injuries, with one passenger suffering serious injury

                                                      The helicopter was registered to Heartland Helicopters


                                                      • #87
                                                        R44 Down: Maryland

                                                        A Robinson R44 Raven II, registration N7518Q, belonging to Advanced Helicopter Concepts of Frederick in Maryland crashed on Thursday 23rd October killing all three persons on board.

                                                        The helicopter was involved in a training flight near Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK) when it collided with a Cirrus SR22 single engine fixed-wing which was inbound to Frederick Airport from Cleveland, Tennessee.

                                                        N7518Q which has crashed killing three persons who were on board

                                                        Upon impact the Cirrus fixed-wing deployed a recovery parachute and came to rest in wooded terrain. The fixed-wing was substantially damaged but both occupants survived.

                                                        The R44 plummeted to the ground immediately following its collision with the Cirrus and was destroyed on impact killing all three persons on board.

                                                        Those who perished on board the Robinson were identified as:

                                                        - Christopher D. Parsons, 29, of Westminster, Md.
                                                        - Breandan J. MacFawn, 35, of Cumberland, Md
                                                        - William Jenkins of Morrison, 47, Colo

                                                        The occupants of the Cirrus were named as Scott V. Graeves, 55, of Brookeville, Md. and 75-year-old Gilbert L. Porter of Sandy Spring, Md.

                                                        Crash site images:

                                                        The R44 crashed between a row of storage buildings near Frederick Airport

                                                        The remains of the R44



                                                        • #88
                                                          Ka-32 Down: Russia

                                                          Four people have been injured and one person died in a Russian Emergencies Ministry Ka-32 helicopter crashed in the Stavropol Territory in southern Russia, the ministry’s spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said Tuesday. He said the helicopter crashed during a training flight.

                                                          A Ministry of Emergency Situations Ka-32 such as that which has crashed today in Russia

                                                          “There were five people on board, four of them suffered injuries of various degree of severity," he said. The captain of the helicopter died, according to a regional law enforcement source.


                                                          • #89
                                                            Bell 205 Down: Thailand

                                                            Three people have been injured when a Royal Thai Police helicopter carrying medical personnel from the Princess Mother’s Medical Volunteer Foundation has crashed in the Sangkhla Buri District of Kanchanaburi Province in Thailand.

                                                            A Royal Thai Police Bell 205, similar to that which has crashed in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

                                                            According to officials, the Bell 205A (Huey), which was carrying 13 out of the 27 members of the medical team, was heading back from a mission in Sangkhla, Buri District. However, the helicopter developed an engine malfunction during the take-off, causing it to crash from a height of about 10 meters above the ground.

                                                            Authorities said the wounded received first aid attention. Another helicopter was dispatched to recover the remaining passengers.


                                                            • #90
                                                              AS350 Down: Russia

                                                              Five people were killed when an AS350B3 crashed in the Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Thursday.

                                                              "All five people aboard the helicopter have died," Interfax news agency quoted the ministry's representative as saying.

                                                              The helicopter took off from the Seliport airfield in Moscow region at 15:00 local time (1200 GMT) with four passengers, including the pilot's spouse and daughter. The reason for the crash is not immediately clear.

                                                              An AS350 similar to that which has crashed in Russia killing all on board

                                                              The pilot informed the tower he was descending three minutes before the scheduled arrival at the Likeevo airport, but radio contact with the aircraft was lost after that, the report said.

                                                              The privately-owned helicopter was found by a rescue team at 20: 10 Moscow time