Hawaiian Eurocopter EC-130 Tourist Helicopter Crash

A Pennsylvania couple was on their honeymoon after marrying on November 5, 2011 when the Eurocopter EC-130 Helicopter excursion they were on; crashed, killing all on board as they were flying over the scenic Hawaiian Island of Molokai.

Michael and Nicole Abel, were from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, and had only been married six days when their tour chopper lost altitude and smashed into a ridge after a freak attack of bad weather.  The tour pilot, Nathan Cline and two Canadians from Ontario also died in this horrific accident.

Their wedding photographer, Joe Appel said the two had remarkable chemistry together. ‘It was pretty obvious they had a bright future together. … They were a very sweet couple, very devoted to each other’.

Michael and Nicole Abel both worked for the Westinghouse nuclear power company at the corporate headquarters in Cranberry, Pennsylvania.

According to witnesses, a storm front suddenly blew across the island of Molokai and caught the tour helicopter, a Eurocopter EC-130. The helicopter crashed into a ridge behind an elementary school, where it exploded into flames on impact. Other eyewitness accounts said rain and a storm front suddenly caught the helicopter as strong wind gusts blew through the island.

Firefighters and Police officers used all-terrain vehicles to reach the remote crash site in the mountains. Four bodies were pulled from the wreckage, and a fifth was underneath the aircraft.

School officials scrambled to keep all the students inside the elementary school. Rescuers worked on a smoking area in the mountains, which was visible from the school yard, according to the Molokai Dispatch.

Mr. and Mrs. Abel and the Canadian victims were on a 45-minute tour of West Maui and Molokai operated by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.

Blue Hawaiian offices closed Friday, so the company officials could review procedures. While Federal aviation investigators arrived in Hawaii to begin going through the wreckage to determine what caused the crash.

The EC-130 chopper that crashed was less than a year old and was leased from Nevada Helicopter Leasing LLC. Tour helicopters have come under heavy scrutiny over their safety in recent years around the country.

Blue Hawaiian conducts approximately 160,000 tours each year on all of the Hawaiian Islands, and another Blue Hawaiian helicopter was involved in a July 2000 crash that killed seven people on Maui.

7 Survive Aerospatiale Accident in Arizona

On December 6, 2009, about 1030 Pacific standard time, an Aerospatiale AS 355F1 helicopter, N548SA, was substantially damaged during cruise flight following the left engine cowling door opening in flight near Temple Bar, Arizona. The helicopter was registered to and operated by HeliUSA Airways Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The commercial pilot and six passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The air tour flight originated from the Mc Carran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, about 1000, with an intended destination of Grand Canyon, Arizona.

The pilot reported that during cruise flight, he heard a “thumping” noise followed by slight feedback within the cyclic control. The pilot contacted a second company helicopter to have them visually inspect the helicopter in flight. The pilot of the second helicopter informed the pilot that the left engine cowling appeared to be open and partially separated. The pilot initiated a precautionary landing to a dirt road and landed without further incident.

FAA Findings

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that two of the three main rotor blades were damaged. One main rotor blade exhibited a one-inch long gouge about one-quarter of an inch in depth near the blade root. A portion of the left engine cowling was separated and not located.

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below:

PHI Helicopter Crash Near New Orleans, LA

PHI, Inc Helicopter Crashes Killing Eight

[Jan. 5, 2009] Eight people were killed and a ninth was reported critically injured after a PHI,Inc helicopter bound for the offshore oil fields crashed Sunday afternoon in marshlands about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans.

NTSB Investigating Latest PHI Helicopter Crash

The helicopter, operated by PHI Inc. was carrying two pilots and seven passengers, The PHI’s helicopter crashed about 3:30 p.m. shortly after taking off from PHI’s base in Amelia, said Richard Rovinelli, a spokesman for the company. The identities of the victims have not yet been released. The cause of this latest PHI helicopter crash isn’t known at this time, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) crash investigators are expected to arrive today according to the company spokesman for PHI.

PHI also involved in Air Ambulance Crash in East Texas

PHI is a primary provider of helicopter services to oil and gas platforms that dot the coast of Louisiana. It also flies medical helicopters. Workers typically are flown to and from their worksites from coastal flight bases. In June, a PHI Air Medical helicopter crashed in East Texas, killing four. The medivac helicopter crash in the Sam Houston National Forest killed the pilot, paramedic, nurse and a patient who was being transported from Huntsville to Houston. That crew agreed to transport the patient after another helicopter company abandoned the mission saying that cloud cover was too low, making visibility poor in the early-morning darkness.

Talk to a Helicopter Crash Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one in this tragic PHI Helicopter Crash in Louisiana, then call us and speak to an attorney that understands helicopter crashes involving PHI and is very familar with PHI, Inc and other crashes, especially the 2008 crash in East Texas. Often we can fly and visit with you in person within 24 hours to meet you and explain the NTSB crash investigation process and the estimated timeline of events surrounding crash investigations and the legal process and help you and your family in filing the necessary paperwork that is necessary in sudden accidents and wrongful deaths. Let us know if we can help. Call our law firm toll free: 1-800-883-9858.

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below:

Offshore Helicopter Crash near Sabine Pass, Texas

Sabine Pass, Texas — The U.S. Coast Guard says three people are dead and two missing following a helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter had been on its way to an oil rig. A Coast Guard cutter is at the crash site, about two miles off the Texas coast near the town of Sabine Pass. Aerial searches will resume after sunrise.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington says investigators will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to determine the cause of the crash.

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below:

Wisconsin Helicopter Crash Kills Four

Midwestern Aviation Helicopter Crashes Near Kenosha, Wi

On September 21, 2008 a Robinson R44 II helicopter owned by Midwestern Air Services LLC, was destroyed when it impacted an occupied house and terrain near Kenosha, Wisconsin. A ground fire subsequently occurred. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The five occupants in the house were uninjured. The flight originated from the Horseshoe Casino Heliport, near Whiting, Indiana, about 0430, and was destined for the Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), near Kenosha, Wisconsin, when the accident occurred.

A Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper who was outside the weight facility on Interstate 94 at the Illinois and Wisconsin State Line about six miles south of the accident site heard a helicopter heading north at a “very low altitude” and estimated it at 500 feet. He did not see the helicopter or its lights due to the “dense fog.” He stated that the visibility there was about 300 to 500 feet.

Witnesses to Helicopter Crash

A witness who lived near the accident site gave a statement to the Kenosha Police Department. The witness stated that a low flying helicopter was heard. It circled once then went away and came back. The witness saw an orange flash through the window and heard a “boom.” The witness said the helicopter sounded “really low” and the “engine sounded like it was at low RPMs.”

A witness from the occupied house on the northwest corner of 97th Avenue and 70th Street that was impacted by the helicopter gave a statement to the police department. The statement, in part, indicated:

My family and I were fast asleep in our residence when I heard and
felt a loud bang like thunder, and then a cloud of debris came
[through] our bedroom door. My wife and I were in the southeast
bedroom. Our two sons were in the northeast bedroom and our
daughter was the bedroom over the garage. We got our kids and
[with] the help of our neighbors made it down the stairs and outside.
None of us were injured. I saw the flames across the street and one
of our neighbors told me a helicopter hit our house.

Robinson R44 Helicopter Wreckage Found

The main portion of the helicopter wreckage was found on a neighbor’s lawn across 97th Avenue. The helicopter was resting on its left side about 80 feet and about 106 degrees magnetic from the front of the impacted house. A debris path started at the rear of the second floor above the house’s central staircase where the helicopter had come through the roof. The debris path was observed down those central stairs and through the front of the house. The path continued across 97th Avenue and went up to the resting helicopter. The helicopter’s resting heading was about 180 degrees magnetic. The rear and lower portions of the helicopter cabin, inner portions of the fuel tanks, and the transmission between the fuel tanks were deformed and melted by fire. Sections of the main rotor blades remained attached to the rotor hub. The landing skids and crosstube were detached from the fuselage and were found in sections through out the debris path. The tail cone remained attached to the helicopter. The tail rotor gearbox separated from the tailcone. A circular area of lawn around the wreckage exhibited charring and blight. The hour meter read 318.6 hours.

An on-scene investigation was conducted. The engine was rotated by hand and it produced a thumb compression at all of its cylinders. The magnetos and fuel pumps sustained fire damage. The spark plugs were gray to brown in color and did not exhibit any anomalies. The fuel servo’s screen did not contain any debris. The engine’s oil screen did not contain any debris. Both fuel tanks were deformed by fire and contained a liquid with a blue hue. The tail rotor gearbox rotated by hand.
An NTSB investigation is continuing and a final report is not expected for months.

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below:

Juneau Sightseeing Helicopter Crash

Poor Lighting Suspected in Juneau Helicopter Crash 

Juneau — Poor visibility may have contributed to the crash of a sightseeing helicopter on the Mendenhall Glacier. Three passengers on board received what officials said were minor injuries in the crash Wednesday of a Coastal Helicopters Bell 206. (June 3, 2006)

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below:

Helicopter Collides with Grand Canyon Wall

On September 20, 2003, about 1238 mountain standard time, an Aerospatiale AS350BA helicopter, N270SH, operated by Sundance Helicopters, Inc., crashed into a canyon wall while maneuvering through Descent Canyon, about 1.5 nautical miles (nm) east of Grand Canyon West Airport (1G4) in Arizona. The pilot and all six passengers on board were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The air tour sightseeing flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the flight, which was operated under visual flight rules on a company flight plan. The sightseeing / tourist helicopter was transporting passengers from a helipad at 1G4 (helipad elevation 4,775 feet mean sea level [msl]) near the upper rim of the Grand Canyon to a helipad designated “the Beach” (elevation 1,300 msl) located next to the Colorado River at the floor of the Grand Canyon.

About 0745, the accident pilot flew the accident helicopter on an operational check flight at the company’s base at McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada. After the short local flight, Sundance ground personnel (consisting of loaders and a tour coordinator) boarded the helicopter about 0840 and flew with the accident pilot on a 45-minute flight from LAS to 1G4 to commence the day’s Descent Canyon tour operations. The director of operations estimated that each flight from 1G4 to the Beach helipad lasted about 3.5 minutes (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Topographic chart showing the 1G4 departure site, the accident site, and the prescribed route through Descent Canyon to the Beach helipad.

Figure 1. Topographic chart showing the 1G4 departure site, the accident site, and the prescribed route through Descent Canyon to the Beach helipad.

These tourist flights were part of an advertised tour package in which Sundance pilots flew passengers through Descent Canyon, dropped them off at the Beach helipad for a scenic boat ride on the Colorado River, then picked them up at the Beach helipad later in the day for a return flight to 1G4 through another scenic canyon.

The accident flight was the pilot’s 11th flight through Descent Canyon that day. The tourist / sightseeing helicopter lifted off from 1G4 about 1237 and flew to the rim of Descent Canyon. The tour coordinator stated that she did not hear the pilot make either the first customary radio call stating that he was lifting off from the helipad or the second customary radio call advising that he was entering Descent Canyon en route to the Beach helipad. A pilot for Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, who departed in his helicopter from 1G4 and flew through Descent Canyon about 2 minutes before the accident flight, stated that he did not hear any radio calls from the accident pilot and did not know that a helicopter was behind him in the canyon.

The Sundance tour coordinator and a Papillon loader at 1G4 stated that they observed the accident helicopter hover at the rim of Descent Canyon for about 30 to 45 seconds before beginning a level descent. They stated that the helicopters usually flew directly from the loading pads to the top of Descent Canyon and either nosed down into the canyon or hovered for only a few seconds before descending nose-low into the canyon. The Sundance tour coordinator stated that ground personnel assumed that the accident pilot may have been waiting for the Papillon helicopter to clear the canyon before he initiated his descent.

The Papillon pilot who descended his helicopter ahead of the accident flight stated that, while he was approaching the helipad next to the Colorado River, he noticed a fireball rising on the canyon wall behind him in Descent Canyon. There were no known witnesses or air traffic control radar data to provide information on the accident flight’s progress inside the canyon after it descended out of view of the witnesses at 1G4.

The main wreckage was located on a canyon wall ledge about 400 feet beyond a near?vertical canyon wall that showed evidence of gouging consistent with a main rotor blade strike (see figure 2).

Figure 2. Initial main rotor blade impact location and main wreckage location.

Figure 2. Initial main rotor blade impact location and main wreckage location. Note: This photograph was taken by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator on February 4, 2004, during a canyon topography documentation flight. The wreckage was previously removed from the site.

Figure 3. Overview of initial main rotor blade impact location, main wreckage location, and prescribed route of flight.

Figure 3. Overview of initial main rotor blade impact location, main wreckage location, and prescribed route of flight. Note: This photograph was taken by a Safety Board investigator on February 4, 2004, during a canyon topography documentation flight. The wreckage was previously removed from the site.

Figure 4. Main wreckage debris field.

Figure 4. Main wreckage debris field.

SOURCE: NTSB

Contact a Helicopter Lawyer

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a helicopter crash, then call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation to discuss the details of the accident and learn what we can do to help protect your legal rights. Whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the helicopter owner, hospital or corporation, the manufacturer or due to lack of training, poor maintenance, pilot or operator error, tail rotor failure, sudden loss of power, defective electronics or engine failure or flying in bad weather conditions, we can investigate the case and provide you the answers you need. Call Toll Free 1-800-883-9858 and talk to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of legal experience or fill out our online form by clicking below: