Aircraft Accidents and Aviation News 2013
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San Francisco, California – December 29, 2013
Two Injured in Pacoima Plane Crash
Two people sustained injuries Sunday afternoon when a small plane crashed into a used car lot in Pacoima. The crash happened at the Mexico Lindo Auto Sales lot on San Fernando Boulevard at around 12:55 p.m. According to NBC Los Angeles, the pilot of the Cessna 172 airplane was attempting a missed approach landing at Whiteman Airport before it crashed in the car lot, damaging about seven cars. The two men in the plane – both in their mid-30’s – were able to pull themselves out of the wreckage. They were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. No one on the ground was injured. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official said winds were high at the time of the crash, and witnesses reported seeing the plane go “up like a kite” during approach. The crash remains under investigation.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – December 26, 2013
At Least Two Dead in Plane Crash Outside Gettysburg
State Police say at least two people were killed Thursday morning after a small plane went down in rural Adams County, Pennsylvania. The Piper PA-30 airplane went down sometime before 5:30 a.m. in a cornfield near Route 234 and Old Carlisle Road. According to the Morning Call, a local resident told authorities about hearing a plane with engine trouble shortly before the crash was reported. A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) told media outlets that two people were in the plane, though neither have been identified. At this time, authorities are not certain if snowy conditions played a role in the crash. The NTSB is investigating.
Fresno, California – December 26, 2013
Young Boy Among Two Dead in Fresno Plane Crash
Two people were killed Thursday evening after a small plane crashed in the front yard of a house in Fresno, California. The Cessna 172 plane went down at around 6:30 p.m. just west of the runway at Fresno Chandler Executive Airport. According to the Los Angeles Times, the plane reportedly hit a tree before impacting with the ground, then burst into flames. The crash killed an unidentified male pilot and a young boy, who has also not yet been identified. No one on the ground was injured in the crash. At this time, authorities are not sure what caused the small plane to go down. The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Bordeaux, France – December 20, 2013
Four Dead in Robinson Helicopter Crash
A prominent Chinese businessman and his 12-year-old son were among four people that died Friday after the helicopter they were in crashed during a tour of a Bordeaux vineyard. The victims have been identified as Hong Kong businessman Lam Kok, Shun Yu Kok, Peng Wang and James Gregoire. According to the Greenfield Reporter, Lam Kok had recently purchased the Chateau de la Riviere vineyards, and the four had set out for a helicopter ride to view the property. Gregoire, the former owner of the vineyards, was the owner of the chopper and believed to be in the pilots chair when it went down. At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the Robinson R44 helicopter to crash. An investigation is underway.
Atlanta, Georgia – December 17, 2013
CEO of Mallen Industries One of Two Dead in Plane Crash
The CEO of an Atlanta area textile company has been identified as one of two fatalities in a small plane crash that occurred Tuesday night. Peter Mallen, CEO of Mallen Industries, has been tentatively identified as one of the two victims, the other victim’s identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin. The crash happened at around 7:30 p.m. shortly after the plane took off from Fulton County’s Brown Airport. According to the Buckhead Patch, the pilot contacted air traffic controllers to report a problem just after take off. As the plane was turning around to head back to the airport, it crashed for unknown reasons. The plane was registered to Mallen Industries. Authorities with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.
Kalaupapa, Hawaii – December 11, 2013
Hawaii Health Official Dead in Plane Crash
The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health was killed on Wednesday after the plane she was in crashed in the waters off the island of Molokai. The plane lost its only engine shortly after taking off from Kalaupapa Airport and glided into a crash landing about a half mile from the island’s shore. All of the plane’s nine occupants were able to evacuate the downed Cessna plane, and were awaiting rescue with life preservers on. According to the Tampa Tribune, Loretta Fuddy, the 65-year-old Hawaii Health Director, was holding hands with the rest of the plane’s occupants when she somehow got separated from the group. Fuddy was the only death in the incident. The others aboard the small plane were treated for minor injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be investigating the crash.
Jacksonville, Florida – December 8, 2013
Three Family Members Dead in Florida Plane Crash
A father and two of his daughters were killed on Sunday when the plane they were traveling in crashed in a Jacksonville, Florida neighborhood. The fatal crash happened at around 6:30 p.m. in the Sutton Lakes subdivision. According to WOKV, the three victims have been identified as pilot Michael Huber and his two daughters, Tess Huber and Abigail Huber. The plane, which departed from Ft. Pierce, was scheduled to land at Craig Airport in Jacksonville. Authorities say the plane communicated to air traffic controllers that they couldn’t see the airport’s runway during approach, and crashed a short time later a half mile short of the runway. Though the crash investigation is in the early stages, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has ruled out fog as a factor.
Sebring, Florida – December 6, 2013
Pilot Dead in Helicopter Crash
A helicopter crashed and exploded at a Sebring sod farm on Friday evening, leaving the chopper pilot dead. The fatal crash happened on the Sod, Citrus and Cane property at around 5:20 p.m. Witnesses reported that the helicopter was flying low near some trees when for some reason it plummeted to the ground and exploded. The unidentified pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. At this time, investigators are uncertain why the helicopter went down. According to the Lakeland Ledger, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is handling the crash investigation.
San Francisco, California – December 4, 2013
More Than a Dozen Passengers Sue Asiana and Boeing for Crash at SFO
Aviation attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman recently filed nine lawsuits on behalf of 14 passengers injured in the Asiana OZ214 crash on July 6, 2013 at San Francisco International Airport. The plaintiffs are seeking damages for past and future medical care, loss of consortium, loss of future earnings, loss of personal property and general damages, as well as punitive damages against Asiana and Boeing. The lawsuits allege that Asiana Airlines negligently operated the crash aircraft, failed to provide adequate seatbelts for most parts of the passenger cabin, and failed to hire and train their pilots to safely land aircraft at all of the airline’s destinations. The pilots’ recklessness and inattention caused the plane to approach SFO too low and too slow, which led to a tragic crash that should never have happened. Plaintiffs allege that Boeing, which was under contract to train Asiana pilots, failed to not only adequately train Asiana pilots, but to monitor and report to the airline concerns about Asiana pilots not being fit to operate the Boeing 777. Also alleged is that Boeing knew or should have known that the aircraft they designed, manufactured and sold to Asiana Airlines was rife with defects, including an inadequate auto-throttle control system that would result in a dangerously inadequate warning to the pilots about low airspeed.
November 19, 2013
FAA Concerned About Sleep Apnea Among Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is concerned that obese pilots and air traffic controllers are suffering from sleep apnea, which is “almost universal in obese individuals,” says FAA flight surgeon Fred Tilton. The FAA announced a new policy today in which all pilots and air traffic controllers with a body mass index (BMI) over 40 or a neck measurement over 17 inches will be required to see a sleep specialist before they are medically cleared for work. Sleep apnea results in a lack of quality sleep, and patients with sleep apnea often go through their days feeling sleepy and sluggish, which can negatively affect their job performance. “It really has the same physiological effects as drinking,” says ABC News consultant and former fighter pilot Stephen Ganyard. “And so you don’t want a drunk pilot flying your airplane any more than you would want a pilot who hasn’t had appropriate sleep flying your airplane.”
According to ABC News, the FAA’s plan to screen for sleep apnea comes roughly five years after two pilots flying a Go Airlines flight between islands in Hawaii fell asleep and overshot their destination. Though the flight ended up landing safely without incident, a subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the flight captain was obese and was later diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Spring, Texas – November 17, 2013
Pilot Reported Engine Trouble Before Fatal Crash
A pilot and a flight instructor were killed Sunday night after the small plane they were in crashed shortly after taking off from an airport outside of Houston. The Cessna 152 aircraft crashed into a hangar at Hooks Airport in Spring, Texas at around 7:15 p.m. According to ABC 13, the pilot told air traffic controllers that the plane was experiencing engine trouble and would be returning to the airport. A witness to the crash said the plane went straight up before it “got inverted and then came own.” Another witness said the plane turned around, as if to land, then “it just came straight down.” Authorities have not yet released the identities of the deceased, only that they were affiliated with United Flight Systems, a flight school at Hooks Airport. The crash is under investigation.
Grand Bahama, Bahamas – November 10, 2013
Four Dead in Bahamas Plane Crash Believed to be American Tourists
Four people believed to be Americans on a sightseeing tour were killed in a plane crash on Sunday in the Bahamas. The fatal crash happened in the waters off Grand Bahama island. According to ABC News, the pilot of the Cirrus 22 single engine plane radioed that they were “experiencing some engine problems” only 22 minutes after take off. The plane went down a short time later, and when the Royal Bahamas Police Force found the wreckage, they reported the plane was “destroyed.” Information on the victims has not yet been released by Bahamian authorities. An investigation is underway.
Longview, Idaho – November 6, 2013
Plane Crash in Central Idaho Kills Three
Three men on a hunting excursion were killed in a small plane crash on Wednesday morning. Rescue officials found the wreckage on a steep mountain slope just outside of Donnelly, Idaho. According to the Columbian, the single engine Cessna 206 plane vanished in low clouds shortly after taking off from an airstrip at McCall Aviation. The plane was heading to a hunting camp in the Salmon River Basin, but never made it there. Killed in the crash was pilot Dan Wilson, along with passengers Steve Hall and Mike Wolf. The three men were the only people aboard the plane. The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Nashville, Tennessee – October 29, 2013
Fatal Plane Crash in Tennessee Shrouded in Mystery
Investigators are still piecing together how a fatal plane crash at a Nashville, Tennessee airport went unnoticed for so long. According to the Tennessean, the pilot of a plane taxiing on a Nashville International Airport runway was the first to notice the wreckage of a single engine Cessna airplane at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, several hours after the Cessna is believed to have crashed. First responders found the body of the Cessna pilot, a man in his 40s, amongst the debris. He has not yet been identified. It is unclear at this time if the pilot was in communication with air traffic controllers prior to the crash. “At this point we’re still examining the air traffic control tapes and radar to determine if there was any communication between the aircraft and the control tower,” said a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official. Both the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the crash.
Dallas, Texas – October 15, 2013
Engine Fire Forces Spirit Airlines Plane to Make Emergency Landing
Spirit Airlines Flight 165 was forced to make an emergency landing at Dallas/Fort-Worth Airport on Tuesday after an engine explosion caused smoke to plume throughout the passenger cabin. The incident happened at around 1:45 p.m., roughly 20 minutes after the Airbus A319 airplane took off from Dallas. The Atlanta-bound flight was forced to turn around, “following procedure and as a safety precaution,” according to a statement from Spirit Airlines.
The plane landed safely in Dallas and no injuries were reported, but passengers aboard the flight were terrified. Some called and texted family members, believing they could be their last words. Fred Edwards, a passenger on the flight, texted his wife. “I figured I would text her and let her know I love her and let the kids know I love them too,” Mr. Edwards told the Daily Mail. Spirit Airlines has not determined what caused the explosion. The incident is under investigation.
Gainesville, Florida – October 5, 2013
Small Plane Crashes at University of Florida’s Flavet Field
A small plane went down at the University of Florida’s Flavet Field just hours before a football game. Two people aboard the plane were rushed to nearby hospitals with unknown injuries. No other injuries were reported. The plane, which is registered to Beach Banners, Inc. out of Jacksonville, went down early in the afternoon attempting to make an emergency landing. According to Bleacher Report, the plane landed upside down and both occupants were ejected from the aircraft. At this time, the cause of the crash is unknown.
San Francisco, California – October 2, 2013
Prosecutors to Decide if Charges Will be Filed Against Firefighter for Running Over Asiana Crash Victim
Prosecutors with San Mateo County are currently deciding whether a 49-year-old veteran firefighter will face charges for running over a victim of the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport. Officials will be looking into whether firefighter Elyse Duckett broke any laws or whether the incident was simply an accident with tragic consequences.
Elyse Duckett was buying food for the fire house when the Asiana crash happened, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Once she realized what was happening, she jumped into a reserve fire truck and drove out to the crash site. Ye Mengyuan, a 16-year-old Chinese student, survived the Asiana crash and was removed from the burning wreckage. She was reportedly laying down on the tarmac, covered with firefighting foam before she was struck by Duckett’s truck. Ye was one of two other young girls to die from that crash.
Santa Monica, California – September 29, 2013
Cessna Crash at Santa Monica Airport Kills Father and Son
The CEO of a Santa Monica construction company was killed, along with his son and two unidentified women after the small plane they were in crashed into a hangar at Santa Monica Airport. The fatal crash happened at around 6:20 p.m. Sunday night. According to CNN, the twin-engine Cessna Citation 525A aircraft veered off the right side of the runway during a landing attempt at Santa Monica Airport and crashed into a hangar. Though the identities have not yet been released by authorities, Morley Construction issued a statement saying CEO Mark Benjamin and his son Luke were believed to be on the plane. “This was an unsurvivable crash,” said Santa Monica Fire Department Captain John Nevandro during a media briefing Sunday night.
Neighbors that witnessed the crash ran toward the airport after hearing a loud boom and seeing a black plume of smoke. One man who saw the plane approaching the airport said the plane looked “perfectly normal” before it veered off the runway. At this time, it is unclear what caused the crash. The investigation will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Las Vegas, Nevada – September 23, 2013
Allegiant Airlines Cancels Flights Amid Emergency Slide Overhaul
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Airlines announced today that they are canceling several flights in an effort to overhaul the emergency slides on some of the company’s aircraft. Allegiant began overhauling the emergency slides on 52 of their MD-80 planes after an emergency evacuation on a September 16 flight at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. The slides functioned properly during the evacuation, however, the airline discovered that the chutes were not in compliance with manufacturer maintenance recommendations. According to 8 News Now, the flight cancellations will affect six routes in and out of Las Vegas, Arizona and Florida. Flights are rescheduled to accommodate passengers on Tuesday.
Linn County, Michigan – September 16, 2013
Helicopter Crash at Logging Site Leaves Pilot Dead
A helicopter pilot transporting logs at a logging site died Monday afternoon when the chopper he was operating crashed on National Forest land. The crash happened just before 3:42 p.m. near Blowout Road, roughly two miles from Highway 22.According to The Albany Tribune, the Bell UH1B helicopter was moving logs from a cutting site to a log deck when witnesses heard a loud snapping noise. The pilot, 54-year-old William Bart Colantuono, immediately dropped the logs to the ground electronically, which would imply that he knew something was wrong with the helicopter. Shortly thereafter, the chopper plummeted to the ground. Colantuono, a native of Indialantic, Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person aboard the chopper.
At this time, the cause of the crash has not been determined. An investigation into the crash is underway.
September 16, 2013
FAA: Airline Close Calls Nearly Double in 2012
In a report issued last week by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the agency said close calls between aircraft in the U.S. more than doubled. The report indicated that in the year ending September 30, 2012, there were nearly 4,400 close call incidents. To put that total into perspective, there were 1,895 total incidents reported during the previous year. The agency added that out of the total incidents in 2012, 41 were reported as “high risk events.”
The FAA said this sharp upswing in close calls is due to a new computer system and enhanced radar that automatically tracks when two aircraft violate the agency’s flight separation rules. According to Bloomberg, this likely means that there were far more close calls than were reported prior to this new system being implemented, as pilots and air traffic controllers self-reported these incidents until the new system was put into use. At any rate, the new system should lead to new, precise ways for the agency to improve safety and avoid aviation incidents in the sky and on the nation’s runways.
Bowie, Maryland – September 2, 2013
Three Sustain Injuries in Small Plane Crash in Bowie
A small plane crash left a woman and two men with injuries on Monday afternoon. The two men were airlifted to University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Unit with critical injuries, and the woman was taken by ambulance to Prince George’s Hospital Center in serious condition.
The crash happened at around 3:40 p.m. just off U.S. Route 50 in Bowie. According to The Baltimore Sun, the single engine plane departed from Freeway Airport in Bowie and went down shortly thereafter in westbound lanes of U.S. Route 50. The plane ended up skidding off the highway and crashing in a wooded area. At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. An investigation is underway.
Taunton, Massachusetts – August 25, 2013
Two Dead After Plane Crashes During Takeoff
A two-seater airplane crashed shortly after taking off from Taunton Airport early Sunday morning, leaving both the pilot and passenger dead. The single engine Aeronca 7AC plane went down at around 6:38 a.m. near Westcoat Road, which runs adjacent to the airport. The Boston Globe has identified the victims as 69-year-old John Schmouth of Brockton and 61-year-old Roland Deslauriers of Bridgewater. Schmouth was reportedly flying the plane when it crashed. At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. Keith Holloway, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said the plane was nearly 70 years old, and had just recently been purchased by the owner. NTSB will be looking into maintenance records as well as inspecting the aircraft in the coming days to piece together what caused the crash.
Kansas City, Missouri – August 18, 2013
Plane Crashes Shortly After Takeoff Leaving Two Dead
A man and his wife were killed on Sunday afternoon when their small plane crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in downtown Kansas City. The fatal crash happened at around 3:00 p.m. near the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. According to Fox 4 Kansas City, John K. Lallo and his wife Diana had just taken off from the airport in a Mooney Aircraft when something went wrong. Lallo, who was piloting the plane, radioed to air traffic controllers that he was going to turn around and head back to the airport. Unfortunately, the plane took a nose-dive and landed on its belly south of a levee near the airport. At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the investigation.
Butte County, California – August 13, 2013
Two Killed After Plane Crashes in Remote Canyon
Two contractors with PG&E were killed on Tuesday when the small plane they were in crashed five miles from the town of Paradise, California. The Champion 7GCAA plane went down in Hamlin Canyon at around 11:30 a.m. The crash sparked a wildfire in Hamlin Canyon that was not contained until Tuesday evening. According to The Paradise Post, the two men were on a routine patrol of a natural gas pipeline when the single engine, two-seater plane went down for reasons currently unknown. The two men have been identified as 55-year-old Fred Lewis, who was flying the plane, and 26-year-old Matthew Moody. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash, and expects to have a preliminary report released in the next few days.
Ft. Benning, Georgia – July 30, 2013
Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Army Helicopter Pilot Killed at Ft. Benning
The family of Steven Redd, a decorated combat veteran killed in a helicopter crash at Fort Benning, Georgia on August 8, 2011, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut federal court alleging that the AH-6M “Little Bird” helicopter Mr. Redd was flying, experienced numerous mechanical failures caused by manufacturer defects, and even after the pilots performed prescribed emergency procedures, they were unable to control either the malfunctioning engines or the aircraft.
Chief Warrant Officer Steven Redd and Captain David Hortman were flying the AH-6M helicopter in a routine training exercise at Ft. Benning, Georgia when the aircraft began to descend at an altitude of about 100 feet and crashed near the training area.
Romney, Indiana – July 28, 2013
Four Injured in Small Plane Crash
A Piper Cherokee airplane with four occupants onboard crashed on Sunday morning in southern Tippecanoe County. The crash occurred at around 10:39 a.m. near Timber House Airport in Romney, Indiana. Authorities say the single engine plane crashed shortly after taking off. According to the Journal and Courier, Michael Butram, 53, Shannon Gipson, 39, Keegan Gipson, 7, and Rowan Gipson, 5, all suffered minor injuries in the crash and were taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Noxen, Pennsylvania – July 27, 2013
Robinson R66 Helicopter Crash Kills Five in Pennsylvania
A Robinson R66 helicopter with five people onboard crashed in a heavily wooded area of northeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday night. There were no survivors. The victims have been identified as 31-year-old David Earnest Jenny, Jr. of Towson, Maryland; 58-year-old Bernard Michael Kelly of Ellicott City, Maryland; his daughter, 27-year-old Leanna Mee Kelly of Savage, Maryland; 29-year-old Carl Robert Woodland of Lovettsville, Virginia; and his son, 3-year-old Noah Robert McKain Woodland of Leesburg, Virginia. All five died as a result of multiple traumatic injuries.
The Robinson R66 was en route from Endicott, New York to Leighton, Pennsylvania when the crash occurred. According to USA Today, the pilot of the R66 contacted air traffic controllers at around 10:30 p.m., indicating that he was losing altitude and that he would be attempting to land at a nearby airfield. At this time, investigators are unsure who was flying the helicopter, as both David Jenny and Bernard Kelly were pilots. The R66 went off radar shortly thereafter, and rescue crews began searching for the helicopter Saturday night.
Due to severe weather and rugged terrain, search crews were not able to locate the wreckage until 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. At this time, it is not immediately clear what caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
This represents the fifth fatal Robinson R66 crash since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved production of the R66 in 2010. In July, 2011, only a few months after receiving FAA approval, the first R66 crash was recorded just outside of Flandes, Colombia. Longtime friends Juan Pablo Gaviria and Jose Ricardo Cabrera were killed when the R66 they were in allegedly experienced a mechanical malfunction and crashed shortly after takeoff.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Gaviria and Cabrera families retained Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against Robinson. Baum Hedlund has previously represented victims in six different Robinson helicopter crashes . To date, Robinson has manufactured over 300 R66 helicopters and 11 people have lost their lives flying in them.
Read: Is the Design of the R66 Defective?
Thompson Falls, Montana – July 27, 2013
Two Fatal Robinson Helicopter Crashes on the Same Day
On the same day that five people lost their lives in a Robinson R66 helicopter crash in Pennsylvania, a Robinson R44 went down in Montana, killing one person and injuring two others. According to KPAX, 35-year-old Todd Hanawalt was one of three people aboard the R44 surveying power lines in the Prospect Creek area when the chopper crashed for reasons currently unknown. Hanawalt, who was piloting the chopper, was killed in the crash. One of the survivors was able to walk away from the crash with minor injuries. The other was airlifted to a Seattle hospital. Both survivors were male, though their identities have not yet been released.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent air safety investigator Tom Little to inspect the crash site. One of the survivors reportedly told Little that the helicopter “suddenly went out of control” prior to the crash. “It did go out of control, because it crashed,” said Little. “What we don’t know is why.” The wreckage will be sent off to Bozeman where Little and his team will conduct a more detailed analysis.
Queens, New York – July 22, 2013
Southwest Flight Loses Front Landing Gear During Landing at LaGuardia Airport
The nose gear collapsed on Southwest Airlines Flight 345 upon landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Monday afternoon. Photos show the front section of the Boeing 737 resting on its belly in the aftermath of the incident as passengers slide down the rear emergency chutes.
Flight 345 departed from Nashville, Tennessee at 1:55 p.m. and reported issues with the landing gear to officials at LaGuardia during the plane’s approach. According to an initial statement made by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official Kathleen Bergen, “the plane’s nose gear collapsed as the aircraft landed on Runway 4 at 5:45 p.m. EDT. The plane safely came to a stop and no injuries were reported.”
USA Today is reporting, however, that out of the 145 passengers and 5 crewmembers, eight people sustained injuries. At this time, it is unclear what caused the landing gear to malfunction. The FAA is investigating.
South Lake Tahoe, California – July 22, 2013
FAA and NTSB Investigating Fatal Plane Crash in Tahoe
A small plane crash in South Lake Tahoe has left one person dead and another with minor injuries. Pilot Steven Lefton was killed and his wife, Karen Lefton, sustained minor injuries after the small plane the two were traveling in crashed Monday morning shortly after taking off from Lake Tahoe Airport. Witnesses say the Mooney M20C aircraft was having trouble getting airborne when it suddenly lost altitude and veered to the east, crashing in a forested area. According to the International Business Times, an off-duty flight nurse who happened to be in the area of the crash site tended to Mrs. Lefton until emergency crews arrived and put out a blaze that had broken out on one of the wings of the aircraft. After the blaze was put out, rescue workers were able to free Mrs. Lefton from the wreckage. Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating Monday’s crash.
Los Angeles, California – July 10, 2013
Crash Victims Sue Robinson Helicopter Company, Rolls Royce and Honeywell
The families of two men killed in the first Robinson R66 helicopter to ever crash have filed a wrongful death lawsuit (case number BC514477) in Los Angeles Superior Court through their attorneys, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. The lawsuit alleges that shortly after takeoff the R66 experienced a mechanical malfunction and uncontrollable loss of power during normal operations, as a result of defects in the helicopter’s engine, fuel system component parts, and other parts of the aircraft.
San Francisco – July 6, 2013
Asiana Flight 214 Crashes at San Francisco Airport
Asiana Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The Boeing 777 aircraft was attempting to land but came in too low and too slow. The landing gear and the tail section of the plane impacted the seawall and broke off. The plane was seen by witnesses to careen off the runway and come to a stop in the center median between runways. A huge fireball erupted as the passengers evacuated the plane. According to KTVU , around 300 passengers were on the flight, two of which were found deceased at the scene. 182 people were taken to local hospitals with about 49 of those in critical condition. The NTSB is sending an investigation team to the site. Get updates on the Asiana 214 crash here
San Luis Obispo, California – June 24, 2013
Pilot Killed in San Luis Obispo Plane Crash
A twin engine plane crashed into an unoccupied FedEx truck on Monday afternoon, killing the pilot. No other injuries were reported in the crash, which occurred at around 1:00 p.m. less than two miles from the San Luis Obispo Airport. At this time, it is uncertain what caused the Cessna P337H to go down. According to KSBY, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be investigating the crash.
Victoria, Texas – June 15, 2013
Three Men Injured After Texas Plane Crash
A twin engine plane went down shortly after taking off from an airport in Victoria, Texas on Saturday, injuring three men onboard. The crash occurred at around 10:00 a.m. Authorities say the plane crashed in a field adjacent to the airport in Victoria while the pilot was practicing landings and takeoffs. According to KWTX, two of the men aboard the plane suffered serious injuries and another suffered minor injuries. All of the victims, whose names have not yet been released, were taken to a local hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating.
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.
Mosca, Colorado – June 8, 2013
One Dead, Others Injured in Colorado Plane Crash
One person was killed on Saturday morning after a small plane crashed at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. The Piper PA-28 airplane, which had two other people onboard, crashed at around 10:06 a.m. on Medano Pass. The Denver Post reports that one person was confirmed dead and two other victims were taken to local hospitals. At this time, it is uncertain what caused the small plane to go down. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is handling the case with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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.
Douglas County, Nevada – May 15, 2013
Three Survive Nevada Plane Crash
Three people aboard a single engine Cessna 182 were uninjured after the plane they were traveling in went down on Wednesday afternoon. The crash took place in the Spooner Summit area just before 2:15 p.m. According to the Nevada Appeal, the plane was heading back to the Carson City Airport after a flying tour of the area when the plane went down. The pilot was able to put the plane down in sagebrush about 40 yards away from a road, missing all of the trees in the area. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
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.
Zacatecas, Mexico – April 30, 2013
Six Killed in Mexico Plane Crash
Six people from the Mexican federal prosecutor’s office were killed on Tuesday after the plane they were in crashed in Zacatecas. The Beechcraft King Air 300 plane went down shortly after taking off at around noon. All six people, including three crew members and three agents with the prosecutor’s office were pronounced dead at the scene. On Monday, the plane was heading back to Mexico City after serving warrants on suspected members of a drug cartel when it was forced to turn back due to “mechanical failure,” according to The International News. The plane attempted flight again on Tuesday but crashed ten minutes after departing. At this time, the cause of the crash is unknown. Mexico’s civil aviation department will investigate the accident.
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 snowmachiner, 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 helicopterwas 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 Postreports 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.