Aircraft Accidents and Aviation News
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Talihina, Oklahoma - June 11, 2013
EagleMed Helicopter Crash Kills One, Three Others Injured
A medical helicopter operated by EagleMed crashed in Talihina, Oklahoma on Tuesday evening, killing one person and leaving another in serious condition. The EagleMed helicopter was transferring 49-year-old patient Michael David Wilson from the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center hospital in Talihina to a hospital in Tulsa when it crashed shortly after taking off at around 6:30 p.m. According to Fox News, the crash killed Wilson, of Bethel, and seriously injured a flight nurse. Two other crewmembers on the chopper suffered minor injuries in the crash. At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the helicopter to go down. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at the crash site to begin their investigation, which could take over a year to complete.
Clay County, Georgia - June 6, 2013
Three Dead in Medical Helicopter Crash
An Air Evac Lifestream helicopter crashed late Thursday night, killing all three people aboard the aircraft. According to WLEXTV, the chopper went down at around 11:30 p.m. in an elementary school parking lot, roughly a few hundred feet from where the helicopter was supposed to land. Killed in the crash was pilot Eddy Sizemore, flight nurse Jesse Jones and flight paramedic Herman Lee Dobbs. The three were all members of Air-Evac's Manchester, Kentucky crew. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, however, witnesses say there was dense fog in the area when the crash occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is heading the investigation.
Herndon, Virginia - May 31, 2013
Three Injured After Plane Crashes Into Apartment Complex
A small plane crashed into an apartment complex in Herndon, Virginia on Friday, leaving three people injured. The crash occurred early Friday morning at the Astoria Circle Apartment complex. Authorities say the plane experienced electrical problems and crashed into the third story apartment belonging to David Ventura and his family. The pilot, 61-year-old William Larson was injured, along with his 39-year-old passenger. A woman in the apartment below the Ventura's was also injured. The Washington Post reports that none of the injuries are considered life-threatening. An investigation is underway.
Phoenix, Arizona - May 31, 2013
Four Dead After Planes Collide Midair
Four people were killed Friday morning after two small planes collided midair in Phoenix, Arizona. The fatal crash occurred just before 10:00 a.m. in a remote area of north Phoenix. Authorities have identified two of the four victims as Paul Brownell, 37 and Basil Onuferko, 26. Both men were flight instructors, according to TransPac Aviation Academy, who owned one of the downed planes. The other two victims have not yet been identified, pending family notification.
At this time, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are unsure what caused the collision. What is known is that a Cessna plane, which operated as part of Westwind School of Aeronautics, collided with a Piper Archer III plane, owned by TransPac. The Cessna ended up catching fire immediately after impact with the ground, burning so much that the plane was virtually "unrecognizable," according to AZ Central. The Piper looked as if it attempted to pull off a hard landing, and first responders were hopeful that they would find survivors. This was not the case, as both people in the Piper were pronounced dead at the scene.
The NTSB expects to release a preliminary report on the crash in the next week or two.
New Hanover County, North Carolina - May 18, 2013
Robinson Helicopter Forced to Make Emergency Landing
A helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing on Saturday afternoon in a field in New Hanover County, North Carolina. There were two people aboard the chopper, made by Robinson Helicopter Company. Neither sustained injuries, and there were no injuries reported on the ground. According to Star News, the pilot of the helicopter was forced to make the emergency landing due to mechanical problems.
St. Louis, Missouri - May 7, 2013
Families of Five Victims in Skydiving Plane Crash Awarded $28 Million
The families of four skydivers and a pilot that died in a 2006 plane crash will receive $28 million in punitive damages and $20 million in compensatory damages. On July 29, 2006, a DeHavilland Twin Otter skydiving airplane took off from Sullivan Regional Airport and crashed seconds after leaving the ground, killing the pilot and 5 passengers.
After a three-week trial in 2011, a Franklin County jury issued the $48 million verdict against Doncasters, an airplane parts company. Following that jury trial, the judge granted a motion filed by Doncasters' attorneys to strip away the punitive damages, but on Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals restored the ruling against Doncasters, holding them liable for all $48 million previously awarded the plaintiffs.
According to St. Louis Today, the damages will be shared among the five families.
Calabasas, California - April 29, 2013
Two Planes Collide Leading to Fatal Crash
Two small planes collided in midair on Monday afternoon, causing one plane to crash into the mountains in Calabasas, California. The incident occurred at around 2:00 p.m. at an altitude of about 3,000 feet. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the first aircraft was flying west at around 3,500 feet, while the second aircraft was flying east at around 3,100 feet.
Following the collision, the first plane made an emergency landing on the Westlake Golf Course. All three people aboard the first plane survived, with only one injury reported. The second aircraft, which was conducting an engine flight test, crashed in the mountains following the midair collision, killing the pilot and another passenger.
The crash sparked a fire that burned roughly an acre. According to NBC Los Angeles, the downed plane was registered to AmeriFlyers, a flight school based in Dallas with a location in Santa Monica. An investigation into the airplane collision and crash is underway.
Norfolk, Nebraska - April 27, 2013
Two Killed in Small Plane Crash
A small plane piloted by an aviation student crashed Saturday evening, killing the pilot and a female passenger. The fatal crash occurred near Norfolk Regional Airport. A witness stated that the 1967 Piper PA-28 airplane was "wobbling almost in a stall position" shortly after taking off. The plane then hit a power line before crashing roughly a half-mile away. Killed in the crash was 26-year-old Dale Butler of Omaha, Nebraska and 23-year-old Amy Brobst of Fort Collins, Colorado. Butler, who was piloting the plane, was a licensed pilot and aviation student from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Norfolk Daily Times reports that officials from the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived in Norfolk to investigate the crash.
Tucker County, West Virginia - April 26, 2013
Three Injured After Plane Crashes in West Virginia
A small plane with three people onboard crashed in a wooded area near Canaan Valley Resort on Friday afternoon. All three victims were airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. The crash occurred at around 12:40 p.m. at the Windwood Fly-In Resort. Authorities say the plane crashed shortly after attempting to perform a "touch and go," which is training for pilots to land on the runway and take off again. As of now, it is unclear what caused the plane to go down. The Inter Mountain reports that the pilot of the single engine Cessna 172 appeared to be the only victim to suffer critical injuries, as the other two people on the plane were able to extricate themselves and walk away from the wreckage. An investigation is ongoing.
Mpumalanga, South Africa - April 23, 2013
Four Dead in Robinson R44 Helicopter Crash
Four people were killed in a Robinson R44 helicopter crash on Tuesday morning in South Africa. The deceased were identified as Pierre de Villiers, 47, Nicholas More, 45, Lance Cooper, 45 and Elsmarie Martins, 44. Authorities say that Nicholas More was piloting the R44 helicopter when it went down sometime Tuesday morning.
The chopper departed from Casterbridge in White River at approximately 6:30 a.m., heading for Gauteng. When the helicopter did not arrive in Gauteng, a police helicopter was dispatched and found the crash site at around noon. Paramedics declared all four occupants in the helicopter dead at the scene.
At this time, it is uncertain what caused the R44 helicopter to crash. According to the Times Live, heavy mist on Tuesday morning may have contributed to the crash, but this has not been confirmed by investigators.
Denpasar, Indonesia - April 13, 2013
Lion Air Plane Crashes in Bali
A Boeing 737 airplane operated by Lion Air crashed on Saturday in waters just short of the runway at an airport in Denpasar, Indonesia. The Guardian reports that all 108 people aboard the plane miraculously survived the crash, which cracked the airplane in half. The Lion Air pilot told authorities that the plane seemed to be "dragged" out of its trajectory before crashing into the water. Investigators will spend the coming months looking into weather conditions at the time of the crash, such as a downdraft may have played a role. Violent downdrafts from a microburst can be fatal for airplanes, as they produce unpredictable straight-line winds that can be similar to a tornado. The pilot also stated in his debriefing that he lost visibility due to heavy rain, and intended to perform a go around for a second attempt at landing the plane, but before he could do this, the plane began to fall instead of climb and ended up in the water.Headquartered in Jakarta, Lion Air is the largest airline in Indonesia. The airline has not commented on the crash. An investigation into the crash is underway, and an initial report is expected to be released in the coming months.
Miami, Florida - April 3, 2013
Two Dead in Miami Robinson R44 Helicopter Crash
Two men in a Robinson R44 helicopter were killed Wednesday afternoon when the chopper crashed in a parking lot only moments after taking off. The fatal crash occurred just before 4:00 p.m. in an industrial area on the 13000 block of Southwest 122nd Avenue in Miami, Florida. Authorities say the R44 helicopter took off from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport and moments later crashed and erupted in flames. Witnesses rushed to aid to the two men trapped in the burning wreckage but nothing could be done save their lives. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. There were no injuries on the ground.
Local Miami news station CBS4 News Miami reports that Miami-Dade police have identified the victims. Bravo Helicopters owner, Mark Palmieri, was the pilot and owner of the R44 helicopter at the time of the crash. His passenger was Ross Allan, 53, was a firefighter and co-pilot for Air Rescue North out of Opa-locka Fire Rescue.
CBS4 News interviewed helicopter accident attorney, Ron Goldman, of Los Angeles about the R44's track record. He told them "The existing tank is dangerously defective because when you have a crash it punctures the tank which is unprotected by any fuel bladder or casing," said Ron Goldman, a Los Angeles based aviation attorney who has filed numerous lawsuits involving Robinson helicopters.
The crash is being investigated by homicide detectives with the Miami-Dade Police Department, along with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Talkeetna, Alaska - March 30, 2013
Alaska Helicopter Crash Leaves Three Presumed Dead
An Alaska State Trooper helicopter went down late Saturday night after retrieving a stranded snowmachiner near Talkeetna, Alaska. There were three people aboard the helicopter when it went down, including pilot Mel Nading, Alaska State Trooper Tage Toll, and the injured snowmachiner, Carl Ober. All three men perished in the helicopter crash.
Authorities believe the Eurocopter AS350A went down some time after 10:00 p.m., which is when the helicopter reportedly landed and picked up the stranded snowmachiner. The chopper was supposed to head back to Talkeetna after the rescue, where medics were standing by to assist the smowmachiner, but the helicopter never made it.
The Alaska Dispatch reports that rescue workers found the downed helicopter at around 9:30 a.m. the next morning. At this time, it is unclear what caused the crash. An investigation is underway.
Sydney, Australia - March 21, 2013
Robinson R44 Crash Kills Everyone Aboard
A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed south of Sydney, Australia on Thursday, killing all four people aboard. The fatal crash occurred near Panorama House, which according to TVNZ, is "a popular restaurant and wedding venue at Bulli Tops, south of Thirroul." Witnesses say the R44 was attempting to land in a grassy area when it clipped a tree and plummeted to the ground, bursting into flames. People on the restaurant staff at Panorama House ran out to save the people in the chopper but nothing could be done. All four were pronounced dead at the scene. At this time, it is unknown what caused the helicopter to go down. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will investigate the crash.
Cameron, Louisiana - March 15, 2013
Louisiana Helicopter Crash Kills All Three Onboard
A helicopter went down in a remote area of Louisiana's Cameron Parish on Friday morning, killing the pilot and two mechanics onboard. There were no survivors. The fatal crash was reported at 11:45 a.m. about five miles southeast of Lake Charles airport. Early reports indicate the three men were taking the chopper out for a maintenance test flight when the crash occurred.
Killed in the crash was 59-year-old pilot William R. Croucher, 55-year-old mechanic Michael Lee Tyree and 41-year-old mechanic Timothy Lloyd Goehring. The Sikorsky S-76A++ model helicopter was owned by Era Helicopters, LLC, a company that provides transport services to shallow and deep-water oil fields throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. It was a twin engine chopper capable of holding 12 passengers.At this time, the cause of the helicopter accident is unknown. The Fresno Bee reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will have a team in place to begin an investigation on Saturday.
Mount Airy, North Carolina - March 14, 2013
Pilot Stable After North Carolina Plane Crash
The pilot of a single engine plane that crashed at Mount Airy Municipal Airport is in stable condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He was the only person aboard the plane. The crash happened just before 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening. A witness reported hearing the plane's engine sputtering moments before going down. At this time, the cause of the crash is unknown. According to The Charlotte Observer, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will arrive on Friday to begin their investigation.
Kern, California - March 11, 2013
One Injured After Plane Crash-Lands at Kern County Airport
The pilot of a small plane suffered head injuries on Monday after being forced to crash-land at Kern Valley Airport. The 53-year-old man was taken to Kernville Hospital for treatment. The two other people aboard the plane were uninjured in the incident. The plane was heading to Kernville from Bakersfield when it's engine stalled prior to landing.
According to the Fresno Bee, "when the pilot tried to restart the engine, the airplane flipped and came to rest upside down on the airport runway." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sent a team of investigators out to the crash site to determine what went wrong.
Turangi, New Zealand - March 9, 2013
Pilot Dead in Robinson R66 Helicopter Crash
The pilot of a Robinson R66 helicopter was killed on Saturday after the chopper went down in rugged terrain just above the Oamuru Valley. The helicopter was initially reported missing in the afternoon, and a search and rescue team found the crash site Saturday evening.
Mark Didsbury, 39, was found dead about 50 meters from the downed chopper. Didsbury worked for Helisika, a company that flies fisherman to the Ngaruroro and Rangitikei river valleys. Helisika had just acquired the Robinson R66 helicopter last December. At this time, no one is speculating on what caused the chopper to go down.
According to reports, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission has sent two investigators out to the crash site to determine the cause of the helicopter accident.
New York, New York - March 9, 2013
Air India Plane Clips JetBlue Plane at JFK
An Air India flight that had just arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport clipped the tail section of a JetBlue flight on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported in the minor runway collision, which happened at around 6:15 a.m. local time. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) previously reported that the JetBlue flight had pushed back off the gate when the wing of the Air India flight clipped the tail of the JetBlue plane. JetBlue officials have refuted that report, saying the plane was disabled at the gate due to a problem with its tow bar. ABC News reports that neither plane was being directed by air traffic controllers at the time of the incident. The FAA will head the investigation into the runway incident.
Cheyenne, Wyoming - March 8, 2013
Woman Suing Air Traffic Control Services Over Fatal Wyoming Plane Crash
A woman who lost three sons and her ex-husband in a small plane crash in 2010 is suing the air traffic controller company that provides services to the Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming. Nate, Nick and Noah Bucklin died with their father, Luke Bucklin, after the plane they were traveling in crashed into a mountain in the Wind River Range on October 25, 2010 amid bad weather conditions.
The NTSB report following the crash concluded that Bucklin's decision to fly the plane in bad weather "probably caused the accident." The report also said, however, that an air traffic controller cleared Bucklin to fly on a flight path that would take him through some of Wyoming's highest mountains at too low of an altitude.
Michelle Bucklin filed the claim this week against Serco Inc., the company that provided air traffic control services to the airport that allowed Luke Bucklin to take off amid poor weather conditions and provided him with a dangerous flight plan. She claims that Serco's negligence caused the crash.
Angel Fire, New Mexico - March 3, 2013
Four Dead in New Mexico Plane Crash
A small plane with four people onboard crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Angel Fire on Friday, killing everyone in the aircraft. Authorities say there were two adults and two children in the aircraft, with reports indicating that they were a family from San Antonio, Texas, though that has not yet been confirmed. At this time, investigators are hesitant to point to any particular cause in the crash, though strong winds may have played a factor, according to an FAA spokesman. A witness to the crash said the plane must have "caught the wind wrong" as it was trying to build altitude after take-off, adding that the plane "took a nosedive for the ground" shortly after getting airborne. The Inquisitr reports that winds in the area were blowing at about 55 miles-per-hour on Sunday. An investigation is ongoing.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - February 22, 2013
Two Dead, Another Injured in Medical Helicopter Crash
An EagleMed medical helicopter on its way back to home base crashed early Friday morning, leaving two people dead and another injured. The fatal crash occurred between St. Ann's Retirement Center and St. Ann's Nursing Home in Oklahoma City at around 5:45 a.m.
People in the area reported hearing a loud explosion and ran to the site of the crash. Two crew members aboard the EagleMed chopper were dead, but a Good Samaritan was able to pull a third crew member out of the chopper safely before it exploded. No one on the ground was hurt in the incident.At this time, it is unclear what caused the helicopter to go down. Global Post reports that the helicopter was a Eurocopter AS350. An investigation is underway.
Thomson, Georgia - February 20, 2013
Five Dead, Two Injured in Georgia Plane Crash
A Hawker Beechcraft 390 airplane crashed in eastern Georgia Wednesday night, killing five people and seriously injuring two others. The fatal plane crash occurred at around 8:00 p.m. at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport.
There were seven people aboard the small plane when it crashed in a wooded area after overshooting the airport runway during a failed landing attempt. Two people that survived the crash were taken to local hospitals. One of the survivors, a man, is listed in critical condition. The other person's condition is unknown at this time.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a team of investigators to the crash site. According to Fox News, the plane is registered to a company in Delaware.
Ely, England - February 25, 2013
'Structural Failure' May Have Caused Robinson R22 Helicopter Crash
An investigation conducted by England's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found that a faulty rotor blade caused a January 2012 Robinson helicopter crash in an open field near Ely, Cambridgeshire. Veteran pilot Robert Crofts-Bolter, 50, was killed in the crash.
Witnesses say the Robinson R22 helicopter started to do what appeared to be "aerobatics because it suddenly began to roll left" before it plummeted to the ground. Another witness reported hearing a "pop" sound and seeing objects come off the chopper prior to the crash. The AAIB stated that the rotor blade fault "caused them to strike the craft and separate." BBC News reported that Crofts-Bolter had logged roughly 5,000 hours of flying time prior to the crash, and was "both a flight instructor and examiner."
A little over a week following the AAIB investigation, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an updated Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Robinson R22 helicopters, in lieu of problems with the main rotor blades. The intent of the AD is to "detect debonding of the blade skin, which could result in blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter." This is accomplished through inspections and maintenance of rotor blades to ensure airworthiness. The AD also states that all Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters will be required to be outfitted with replacement rotor blades within five years.
Acton, California - February 10, 2013
Bell Helicopter Crash Kills Three on Reality TV Shoot
All three people onboard a Bell 206B helicopter were killed early Sunday morning in a crash in rural Acton, California. The helicopter crashed at around 3:40 a.m. during the filming of a reality TV show involving the military. The three men killed in the crash appeared to be in their mid-40s. Authorities have not released names of the deceased pending positive identification. The crash site was in an open field, so no one on the ground was hurt. Permit records of the shoot indicate that the chopper was operated by Crossbow Helicopters, Inc. out of Valencia. Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be investigating. The Daily News reports that the NTSB expects a preliminary report to be released in a couple of weeks.
Portland, Oregon - January 31, 2013
Alaska Airlines Co-Pilot Forced to Make Emergency Landing
The co-pilot of Alaska Airlines Flight 473 was forced to make an emergency landing at PDX airport in Portland, Oregon after the flight captain lost consciousness mid-flight. No one was injured in the emergency landing. Flight 473 departed from Los Angeles, California at 6:30 p.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Seattle, Washington at around 9:30 p.m. The co-pilot, however, decided to make an emergency landing after the pilot lost consciousness for an unknown reason "somewhere over Oregon." According to The Daily News, the flight captain was treated by a doctor aboard the flight until medical personnel were able to tend to him on the runway. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Passengers with flight connections flew Horizon Air to Seattle Thursday night.
Jaragua, Brazil - January 28, 2013
Bell Helicopter Crash in Brazil Kills Pilot, Injures Three Others
The pilot of a Bell 206 helicopter was killed and three passengers were injured early Monday afternoon after the chopper went down in a residential neighborhood. The crash occurred at around 12:30 p.m. local time in a Jaragua neighborhood. Witnesses say the tail rotor on the helicopter "stopped working" prior to crashing into the roof of two houses. Miraculously, no one on the ground was injured in the crash.The Daily Mail reported that the helicopter was being used as an air taxi transporting passengers to Sao Paolo. The company that owns the helicopter, Helimarte, told reporters that in the company's 14-year history, this was their first crash. Helimarte also released the name of the deceased pilot, 29-year-old Marcello Stella Melo Araujo.
London, England - January 16, 2103
Helicopter Crash in Vauxhall Kills Two, Injures at Least 12
An AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter crashed in central London today, killing the 50-year-old chopper pilot and a 39-year-old pedestrian. The helicopter crash occurred at around 8:00 a.m. this morning, roughly 60 feet away from the bustling Vauxhall train station.
The Daily Mail reported that the chopper hit a crane at the top of The Tower St. George Wharf before plummeting down to the street and catching fire. A witness to the crash told emergency services that the helicopter was flying fine one minute and "the next it was being erratic." Prior to colliding with the crane, the helicopter started to shake "from side to side and then it went straight into the arm of the crane."
Matthew Wood, 39, was killed when the chopper crashed. Also killed was one of England's most renowned helicopter pilots, 50-year-old Pete Barnes. Barnes worked as a pilot for many years and appeared in movies such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan. One person was critically injured in the crash, though most who were hospitalized were later released. A Metropolitan Police Commander stated that it was "something of a miracle that this was not many, many times worse."
The Air Accident Investigation Branch has begun an inquiry into the crash. Specifically, the agency will be looking into whether Barnes was following proper procedures prior to the fatal crash.
Porterville, California - January 6, 2013
Two Dead in Small Plane Crash Near Porterville
A small plane on its way to Fresno crashed near the community of Woody, killing two men, who were identified as Floyd Johnston and Jacob Curiel. Johnston was the owner and namesake of Johnston Construction. Curiel also worked for Johnston Construction. The two men were traveling back from a trip to San Diego, where Curiel had visited relatives. Authorities say Johnston was piloting the plane. According to KSEE, the small plane experienced engine problems shortly before going down. The Federal Aviation Administration is handling the investigation into the fatal crash.