Coast Guard Helicopter Crashes – One Missing

July 7, 2010

(CNN) — A multi-unit search is under way for a missing crew member after a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed off the coast of Washington state Wednesday, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw.

The Coast Guard helicopter — an MH-60 Jayhawk — was carrying a 4-person crew from a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Astoria, Oregon, to Sitka, Alaska. It went down near James Island off La Push, Washington, Bradshaw said.

Three crew members were recovered with serious injuries, according to officials.  One of them was recovered by a good samaritan piloting a boat.

The search for the missing crew member includes three response boats and teams from U.S. Coast Guard stations based in Astoria, Port Angeles, Washington; and Quillayute, Washington.

The Coast Guard lost contact with the helicopter less than 10 minutes before the reported crash, according to a Coast Guard statement.

Pilot Dies In Helicopter Crash In Titusville, Florida


Sunday, July 4, 2010
The pilot of a helicopter died Sunday afternoon after crashing in a heavily wooded area in Titusville, Florida. 

Police received multiple 911 calls from witnesses who saw a yellow helicopter crash behind 

a local shopping center.  Police officers and Titusville firefighters arrived and discovered the wrecked helicopter partially submerged in a marshy area. 

The pilot, Edgar Thompson of Rockledge, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Because the helicopter was classified as an experimental aircraft, the Titusville police department is investigating the incident instead of the FAA. 

Weather conditions were clear and the pilot operated out of nearby Arthur Dunn Air Park, less than a mile away. 

The small helicopter crashed near the fringe of a large wooded tract bounded by Interstate 95 to the west, Singleton Avenue to the east, Garden Street to the north and State Road 405 to the south. 


After the crash, Florida Division of Forestry heavy equipment operators began clearing an access road to retrieve the wreckage. 

A Brevard County Sheriff’s Office helicopter first spotted the wreckage from the air.

Two Injured in Colorado Army Helicopter Crash

June 30, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, June 30 (UPI) — Two pilots of an Army helicopter were injured when their craft made a hard landing in foothills west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Army officials said.

The crash happened at 1:30 a.m. as the pilots took part in high-altitude training — including flying night-vision missions — to prepare for operations in Afghanistan, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

The two pilots suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were treated at a local hospital, the newspaper said.

The Army said the helicopter is part of the 10th Mountain Division’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Drum, N.Y., training at Colorado’s Fort Carson.

Army aviation units train pilots and flight crews at Fort Carson because of its mountainous terrain, the Gazette said.

The brigade is expected to deploy to Afghanistan in August.

Four Die in Helicopter Accident at the Tour de Port

Four people died when a helicopter carrying journalists covering the Tour de Port sportive crashed near Rotterdam, Netherlands on June 27th casting a shadow over that Dutch city’s preparations to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France on Saturday, July 3rd.

One journalist survived the crash, according to Radio Netherlands Worldwide, and is in a stable condition in a nearby hospital, however two of his colleagues as well as the pilot and a race official were killed in the crash.

The crash, the cause of which is unknown, was witnessed by many of the amateur cyclists taking part in the Tour de Port, which was immediately suspended, with counseling offered to participants who had watched the tragedy unfold as the helicopter crashed to the earth in a nature reserve to the west of the city.

It is believed that this helicopter accident may result in celebrations of the Tour de France’s departure from the Netherlands being toned down.

Bell 222 Helicopter CareFlite Crash

A Bell 222 helicopter with two CareFlite crew members were killed when their helicopter apparently lost its rotor, crashed, and caught on fire near Midlothian, Texas. The Bell 222 helicopter went down after taking off from its Grand Prairie hangar for a post-maintenance test flight. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the crash to determine a cause.

 The crash occurred near U.S. Highway 67 and Wyatt Road in rural Ellis County. The wreckage also ignited a large grass fire.  Firefighters immediately started to extinguish the fire, however there were no survivors.  Firefighters cut through a gate to get to the site, and getting water to the site was difficult because there were no hydrants in the area. A CareFlite representative confirmed the two crew members on the Bell 222 helicopter was a pilot and a mechanic.

 The rotor was located approximately 100 yards from the wreckage, and the tail section of the aircraft was in a cluster of small mesquite trees about 250 yards away. The Bell 222 helicopter crash site is approximately a quarter-mile west of U.S. 67 near an industrial area.  Where there are near two gutted, abandoned buildings that once belonged to a tire refurbishing company.

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:

State Police Helicopter Crashes in Virginia

On May 11, 2010, about 1335 eastern daylight time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N31VA, operated by the Virginia State Police, was substantially damaged during an emergency landing following an engine failure and autorotation near Virginia Highlands Airport (VJI), Abingdon, Virginia. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and the commercial pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the public use flight.

According to the crew, who were both Virginia State Police (VSP) officers, they and the helicopter were based at the VSP Aviation facility at VJI. The purpose of the flight was to provide aircraft orientation training for the pilot. The pilot conducted one takeoff and landing at VJI, and then proceeded to the northwest to practice confined area operations at a field about 3 miles from VJI. When the flight was enroute to the practice field, the crew heard a noise that they described as a “very low growl” coming from the engine compartment. As they approached the field at an altitude of about 250 feet above ground level (agl) and a speed of 80 knots, they heard a “very loud growl,” and the engine “surged” twice. The “FADEC DEGRADE” caution light illuminated, and an aural “ENGINE OUT” alert sounded. The CFI informed the pilot that he was taking control of the helicopter, and then initiated a 180 degree right turn, and an autorotation to the field. At about 50 feet agl, the CFI flared the helicopter, and then landed it. The helicopter bounced one time and came to rest on a “slight slope” in the field, with the right skid on the uphill side. The crew shut down the helicopter and exited normally. The pilot reported that the flight duration was 7 minutes.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Rolls Royce arrived on scene about noon the day after the accident. They reported that both landing skids were splayed outboard, and the right skid exhibited more deformation than the left skid. The upper 3 inches of the left vertical stabilizer was missing, and one main rotor blade had paint transfer marks consistent with stabilizer contact. The tail skid (“stinger”) and tail rotor blades were intact. The forward-looking infrared (FLIR) turret that was mounted on the underside of the fuselage below the left rear seat was pushed up, and penetrated the cabin floor. The “Night Sun” lamp that was mounted on the underside of the fuselage, below the left front seat, was damaged, but did not penetrate the cabin.

The helicopter had approximately 790 pounds of fuel on board. Flight control continuity was verified, and all pneumatic, lubrication and fuel lines appeared to be intact. Although no attempt to start the engine was made, when the starter button was held for about 5 seconds, the engine motored normally.

According to the Rolls Royce representative, the engine was equipped with an electronic control unit (ECU), and a hydromechanical fuel control unit. The ECU had two separate non-volatile memory (NVM) units, known as the “maintenance terminal” (MT), and the “incident recorder” (IR). The MT recorded discrete events relevant for maintenance purposes, and the IR recorded time history data of engine parameters. The IR recording was designed to start whenever a “trigger” (parameter exceedance) was detected; the recording would capture data from 12 seconds prior to the trigger, and continue after the trigger. The ECU NVM data were downloaded at the accident site. Preliminary examination of the data revealed two engine “surge events,” but the specific trigger was not determined.

The helicopter was recovered to a Bell Helicopter completion and maintenance facility 2 days after the accident. The engine, including the ECU and fuel control, were removed and shipped to Rolls Royce for detailed examination and testing.

According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 2000, and was first registered to the Commonwealth of Virginia in January 2001. The helicopter was equipped with a Rolls Royce-Allison 250-C47B engine. According to VSP records, the helicopter had accumulated a total time in service (TT) of approximately 3,887 hours. The engine had the same TT as the airframe, and had accumulated approximately 6,631 cycles since new. VSP records indicated that the helicopter had been used for 1,766 autorotations. The most recent 50 hour/3 month airframe inspection was completed on April 20, 2010, and the most recent 150 hour engine inspection was completed on April 21, 2010.

FAA records indicated that the CFI held an airline transport pilot certificate, with several ratings, including rotorcraft-helicopter, and a flight instructor certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter ratings. He reported that he had 3,278 total hours of flight experience, including 1,100 hours in the accident helicopter make and model. The CFI’s most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in July 2009, and his most recent flight review was completed in August 2008.

FAA records the indicated that the pilot held a commercial certificate, with several ratings, including rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument helicopter. The pilot’s most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in April 2010, and at that time he reported that he had accumulated approximately 2,000 total hours of flight experience.

The VJI 1343 recorded weather observation included winds from 200 degrees at 10 knots, with gusts to 18 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 3,700 feet agl, broken cloud layers at 4,200 and 5,000 feet agl, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of mercury.

Near Collision – 737 & News Helicopter Over Houston

The NTSB has launched an investigation into the near collision of a Southwest Airlines jetliner and a news helicopter over a runway at Houston’s Hobby Airport last week.

At about 12:25 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 28, a Southwest Airlines 737, flight 1322 (N242WN) and a Bell 207 news gathering helicopter (N6YJ), came within an estimated 100 feet vertically and 125 feet laterally from each other as both were departing the airport.

The Baltimore-bound 737 with 135 passengers and a crew of five had been cleared to depart from runway 12R. At about the same time the helicopter was cleared to depart from another part of the airport. The near-collision occurred as the helicopter converged into the flight path of the 737 shortly after the jetliner lifted off from the runway. Both crews took evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding.

NTSB investigator Betty Koschig, an air traffic control specialist based in Washington, is traveling to Houston tomorrow to begin the investigation.

This is the second runway safety incident that the NTSB has investigated in the last two weeks. On April 19, a 737 and a small private plane came within about 200 feet of colliding over the airport in Burbank, Calif.

CV-22 Osprey Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan Kills 4

A U.S. Air Force helicopter crashed April, 9th 2010 in southeastern Afghanistan, killing four and wounding others, the military said.

An Afghan official said it appeared to have crashed due to mechanical failure.

The U.S. military released a statement saying an American CV-22 Osprey had crashed, killing three U.S. troops, a civilian employee of unconfirmed nationality, and injuring “numerous other servicemembers.”

Air Force officials said the cause of the crash was still being investigated.

The CV-22 Osprey uses tilt-rotor design allows it to take off as a helicopter but fly more like an airplane, making it faster than most other military helicopters. According to the U.S. Air Force, the craft generally “conducts long range infiltration and resupply for U.S. Forces.”

Kabul government spokesman, Mohhamed Jahn Rasuliyar, first said the helicopter appeared to have been shot down, but changed that later to say the cause appeared to have been technical failure.

Lawsuit Filed Following Deadly Helicopter Crash

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The families of three Fish and Game employees killed in a helicopter crash want a California power company to take some responsibility for their deaths.

Biologists Kevin O’Connor, Clu Cotter, and Thomas Stolberg were killed in January, along with the pilot Dennis Donovan. They died when the helicopter they were riding in clipped a thin wire and crashed to the ground.

The lawsuit filed by the family of Clu Cotter alleges Southern California Edison did not have any warning devices in place to alert the pilot of these thin static lines that were strung across a canyon. Attorneys representing the families say they believe the pilot never expected them to be placed so far above the main power lines.

The static wires are at the crux of legal action by the families of three Department of Fish and Game employees.

Attorneys representing Clu Cotter and Kevin O’Connor allege electric company Southern California Edison not only failed to mark the lines but also placed static lines unusually higher than the standard 15 to 20 feet above the main lines. They believe the pilot didn’t expect the lines to be at that elevation near Redinger Lake in Eastern Madera County.

The first of three lawsuits claims the static lines were invisible without proper warnings. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the crash and noted the lines were not marked.

Included in the lawsuit is a claim Southern California Edison knew about the dangers above Willow Creek because of another accident that happened in that same canyon during previous fire suppression efforts. Attorneys have now requested documents related to that incident. No one died during that mishap.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by surviving family members does not name a monetary amount, but requests compensation for an accident that the plaintiffs’ attorneys say was avoidable.

“Not only is it a valuable helicopter but four lives have been lost due to the fact that the pilot just had no chance,” said Cornwell.

The families are also suing Landell’s Aviation and the parent company the pilot worked for at the time of the accident. Attorneys believe the aviation company holds some liability for the crash.

Southern California Edison has not received the lawsuit and refused to comment.

(Copyright ©2010 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Five Confirmed Killed in Arizona Helicopter Crash

Former Seattle businessman Thomas J. Stewart, his wife and their young daughter were among five people killed in a helicopter crash north of Phoenix, a spokesman for Stewart’s company, Services Group of America (SGA), said.

“Authorities conducted a thorough ground and air search of the crash area Sunday afternoon and into the night,” a SGA spokesman said in a statement. “They are certain there were no survivors.”

The family was flying from Flagstaff to Scottsdale Air Park when the crash occurred.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. Thomas Little, an air safety investigator for National Transportation Safety Board, said that it could be nine months to a year before a cause, if any, is determined.

Little said that there was a ¾ mile debris trail leading up to the crash site, indicating that pieces of the aircraft had come off. Little said the pieces appeared to come from one of the helicopter’s rotors, although he could not say which one. Little said that he was not aware of any radio distress calls before the crash.

Investigators starting moving debris to a site for examination.  “It’s a time-consuming process,” Little said.

Stewart owned a ranch in Flagstaff, according to Metropolitan King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer, who was a former neighbor of Stewart on Vashon Island and worked for Stewart as a former vice president of SGA.

The helicopter belonged to Services Group of America, the parent company for Food Services of America.

“The impact was horrific. There was debris everywhere,” said Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lindsey Smith. “The aircraft is literally in pieces.”

According to emergency calls made from the scene, Smith said there were reports of smoke, loud noises and pieces falling from the helicopter as it went down.

“The indications are there were some mechanical issues going on,” Smith said. She said the helicopter crashed in a wash that is about 100 feet wide, with houses on either side.

Sheriff deputies were going door to door, interviewing residents and blanketing a debris search area that officials described as several hundred feet.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board headed to the crash scene, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Stewart was a Seattle native and was active in both Washington business and political circles.