Didn’t mention this all together yesterday but it was a bad day (or two) for helicopters.
On Mar 19
Bristow Academy Inc Schweitzer 269C-1 training flight; chopper lost power and crash-landed Highway US-1 near Titusville, FL. Two aboard, no injuries
On Mar 21
Bundespolizei Aérospatiale AS 332L1 Super Puma was in a training exercise in snowy conditions at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. The Super Puma struck the EC-155 while landing, and fell. THe EC-155 pilot died on the scene, and three were injured.
Bundespolizei Eurocopter EC 155B-1 (AS 365N4) (see above incident at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium)
What: Pioneer Caribbean Logistics Limited Twin Star helicopter en route from Marsh Harbour to Baker’s Bay Where: Great Guana Cay, North Abaco, Bahamas When: Nov 22, 2012, 1 p.m. Who: 4 injured, 1 fatality Why: The party aboard the helicopter was landing at a luxury resort community, Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club on Great Guana Cay, when gusty winds blew the chopper into a spin and out of control. The helicopter’s rotor blades struck the ground near the Baker’s Bay townhomes, and the tail broke off. The pilot was injured, and hospitalized. One passenger, Lance Valdez, died on impact.
Valdez founded Pioneer Capital and lived in New York before he and his family moved to the Bahamas.
Jeffrey Soffer was also aboard the plane. Soffer was injured along with Dan and Paula Riordan. Soffer owns the Fountainebleau Miami Beach, condos in Las Vegas, the Bahamas and Washington D.C and is an investor in Turnberry Associates. Dan Riordan is also with Turnberry. The injured were taken by boat to Marsh Harbour.
From Marsh Harbour, the crash victims were flown by racing-team owner Roger Penske’s private jet to Miami where Soffer and the Riordans were hospitalized at Miami’s Ryder Trauma Center. One of the injured was taken to Nassau.
Civil Aviation Department investigators traveled to Abaco to begin examining the crash. The wreckage has been moved to a secure location. The Bahamas Ministry of Transportation and Aviation has completed its preliminary report on the Abaco helicopter crash. The report indicates that the airframe, engine and propeller manufacturers and designers have been notified of the accident.
What: Smart Elicotteri Srl Aérospatiale AS 350 BA Ecureuil Where: Trichiana Italy When: Nov 20, 2012 Who: 2 aboard, 2 fatalities Why: A helicopter distributing anti rabies bait for wild animal vaccination took off and struck an electrical line before it fell into a field.
The victims worked for Smart Helicopters Srl of Italy.
What: Indian army Aerospatiale SA-315B Alouette III en route from Mumbai to Bangalore Where: Goa When: October 15, 2012 Who: 3 aboard Why: During the approach to landing at the air base, one of the rotor blades broke off, initiating a fire.
Three aboard the flight died at the scene. Two of those aboard were officers.
What: UTAir Aviation Aérospatiale AS 350 B3 Ecureuil en route from Lensk to Talakan Where: Lensk, Russia When: July 4, 2012 18:11 Who: 4 aboard, 4 fatalities Why: Four people were aboard the UTAir helicopter when it crashed near Lensk Russia, killing the pilot and copilot and two passengers just moments after the pilots lost contact with ATC.
Initial reports said there were only three aboard. The helicopter normally performed a regular shuttle flight.
What: Chopper II LLC Aérospatiale AS 350B Astar en route from from Sedona to Scottsdale. Where: Sedona AZ When: June 30, 2012 Who: 4 aboard, 4 fatalities Why: A Aérospatiale AS 350B Astar, N729DP that was reported overdue on Saturday was found by a private pilot at 8:45 a..m. Sunday crashed into the Verde river south of Camp Verde, Arizona. According to FAA reports, “THE 4 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY INJURED.”
The wreckage was consistent with a pilot flying at low speed and low altitude.
The remains were found of the pilot, 70-year-old Raymond Perry of Phoenix, 68-year-old passenger Karen Stinn of Cave Creek and 63-year-old Mike Dunaway and 64-year-old Linda Dunaway of Glendale. They were taken to Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office. Perry is the CEO of the Arriba Mexican Grill restaurant chain.
A helicopter mechanic reported that it looked as if the chopper nose-dived and the blades from the chopper and the transmission tore through the main cabin where the pilot and passengers were sitting. Wind may have factored in. The helicopter was found in the Verde river.
What: Cropspray Ltd. Westland (Aérospatiale) SA 341G Gazelle en route from Bath Where: Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK When: Jan 10, 2012 09:40 GMT. Who: 3 aboard Why: When the chopper developed an engine problem, the pilot didn’t have much time to decide what to do..
Businesssman/pilot Andrew Ridings, said in an interview that he only had an instant to choose whether to fall into the river or a tree; he chose a “fuffy” tree, made a 180 degree turn and landed on it 8 feet from the river, and fell through. A local worker cleared a path for emergency services to make a prompt arrival.
Two of the injured were released from the hospital; one remains hospitalized with a back injury.
The The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating.
Two aboard were taken by Great Western Ambulance Service to Southampton General Hospital and one was taken by ambulance. All three made it safely out of the helicopter, suffering a variety of injuries.
What: Sundance Helicopters Aérospatiale AS-350B Where: Near Lake Mead, Nevada When: Dec 7 2011, 5 pm Who: 5 fatalities Why: Las Vegas police search and rescue team conformed that a luxury sunset tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam crashed into the River Mountains. The pilot Landon Nield of Las Vegas and four passengers were killed in the crash thirty miles from the Vegas strip were in a remote area. Officials airlifted to the crash site confirmed the condition of the victims. Recovery will continue Thursday after sunrise.
Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas has had at least five accidents and has been the subject of 10 federal enforcement actions since 1994 but Nield had no history of accidents or violations.
Two of the passengers, tourists Delwin and Tamara Chapman of Utica, Kan were renewing their vows and celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
Two of the victims, 28-year-old Lovish Bhanot and 26-year-old Anupama Bhola, were a couple of newlyweds from New Delhi, India.
The crash was reported by an employee of Alfred Merritt Smith water treatment facility who witnessed the event.
A 12-member team is being sent to investigate the crash.
In September of 2003, a Sundance Aerospatiale crashed Near Grand Canyon West Airport, Arizona.
NTSB LAUNCHING TEAM TO INVESTIGATE TOUR HELICOPTER ACCIDENT IN NEVADA
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a 12- member Go-Team to investigate the crash of a helicopter on a sight-seeing tour that occurred near Las Vegas at about 5:00 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Preliminary reports indicate that all five persons on board the helicopter were fatally injured.
Senior Air Safety Investigator Bill English will serve asInvestigator-in-Charge. Member Mark Rosekind is among those traveling to the site and will serve as principal spokesman during the on-scene phase of the investigation.
Peter Knudson is the public affairs officer accompanying the team; he may be reached on his cell phone at 202-557-1350.
What: Helisika Agricultural Ltd. Aérospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil Where: Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, NZ When: Nov 23, 2011 Who: 1 pilot Why: After setting a pylon for a christmas tree, the chopper’s roter struck a cable, and crashed the chopper.
Pilot Greg Gribble was hospitalized and released.
Te Wero Bridge has been closed to pedestrians until the investigation is complete.
What: Fuerza Aerea Mexicana Aérospatiale AS 332L Super Puma Where: Temamatla , Edo de Mexico When: Nov 11, 2011, around noon Who: 9 aboard, 9 fatalities Why: A Mexican government helicopter en route from Mexico City to Cuernavaca carrying 9 passengers crashed, killing everyone aboard.
Those aboard included José Francisco Blake Mora, Secretary of the Interior, Felipe Zamora Castro, Legal Affairs and Secretary of the Interior Ministry DH, Jose Alfredo Garcia Medina, director of social communication Interior Ministry, Diana Miriam Hayton Sanchez, technical secretary of the office, and Major Rene de Leon, Lt. Col. Philip Bacio Cortes, Jorge Luis Juarez Gomez, Ramon Escobar Segundo and Pedro Teninete Becerra.
The chopper was en route to a prosecutors meeting. It went down in heavy cloud cover, so weather is considered to be a factor. Mexico’s No. 2 official, Francisco Blake Mora, who embodied Mexican government’s get-tough attitude, is one of the victims of the crash. Mora been a key figure in Mexico’s battle with drug cartels and he oversaw disaster response, like the pipeline explosion in San Martin Texmelucan in 2010. He is the 2nd interior secretary in this administration to die in an air accident.
What: Aerospatiale SA-341G Gazelle en route from Odessa to Nikolaev. Where: Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine When: Dec 26, 2010 Who: 40 year old Pilot and 3 passengers Why: While flying in thick fog, the helicopter crashed, killing the occupants. The passengers were girls between the ages of 18 and 22. The helicopter performed private flights for a luxury chalet in Dnipropetrovsk.
What: Pawan Hans Aérospatiale AS365 N3 Dauphin Where: Chandigarh Airport India When: Dec 16, 2010 Who: 2 pilots, S P S Brar and M S Brar Why: While en route to pick up a government official Punjab Industries Minister Manorajan Kalia to Mukerian in Hoshiarpur distric, after takeoff from Chandigarh Airport, the helicopter tilted and fell to the ground, and caught afire. The helicopter had been leased to the Indian government for the past 14 years.
The pilots managed to get out of the burning helicopter alive. They have been hospitalized at Western Command Hospital at Panchkula.
What: Fishtail Air Aérospatiale AS 350B Ecureuil en route from Lukla Airport to Mount Ama Dablam Where: near Mount Ama Dablam base camp When: Nov 7 2010 Who: 2 aboard; 2 fatalities Captain Sabin Basnet and Engineer Purna Awale Why: After flying from Kathmandu to Lukla at 8 a.m, the helicopter was the rescue team who had flown to Mount Ama Dablam to rescue two stranded Japanese mountaineers. After taking off at Lukla, the helicopter lost contact.
A Fishtail Air helicopter search found the remains.
What: Institut Polaire Français Aérospatiale AS 350 Squirrel helicopter carrying supplies between the French research vessel and supply ship, l’Astrolabe and the country’s Dumont d’Urville research base in Adélie Land. Where: Antarctica When: October 28, 2010 Who: 4 Fatalities Why: After taking off from the French research vessel L’Astrolabe which is icebound northeast of the Dumont-d’Urville station, the helicopter went down in bad weather. The helicopter was last seen flying at 29 feet. The helicopter normally supplied the research base. Initially there was hope of one survivor. A U.S. Air Force C-17 flew over; the distress beacon was activated off Adelie Land, but cloud cover prevented visibility; bad weather complicated rescue efforts. An Australian unit which spotted three bodies dropped supplies and survival equipment. A doctor flown in later confirmed that the pilot, the mechanic and two employees of the French Polar Institute who had been aboard the helicopter were dead. The remains were recovered and flown back in an Australian Hercules C-130 to a chapel at the base. (US) McMurdo base and AMSA’s rescue coordination centre are assisting the French recovery team.
Two researchers were from l’Institut polaire Paul-Emile Victor, in Brest, Brittany, France.
What: United States Coast Guard Aérospatiale MH-65C Dolphin (SA366G-1) Where: Arcata/Eureka Airport When: April 29 2010 Who: 3 aboard, no fatalities Why: During a training exercise, the helicopter crashed at the airport. There were no injuries.
What: Island Express Helicopter Service Where: Catalina Island When: May 24 2008 Who: 6 aboard, 3 fatalities Why: On May 24, 2008, at 0920 Pacific daylight time, an Aerospatiale AS-350-D helicopter, N67GE, operated by Island Express Helicopters, Inc., impacted terrain while landing at Two Harbors, Avalon, located on Santa Catalina Island, California, during a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 on-demand, commercial flight. The flight departed from the Queensway Bay Heliport, Long Beach, California, at 0907. The commercial pilot, a company employee, and one passenger were killed, and three passengers were seriously injured. The helicopter was destroyed by impact damage and fire
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