Monday, July 14, 2014

Wrongful death suit filed over helicopter crash: Bell 206L-4 LongRanger IV, N207MY, Westwind Helicopters, Inc.

The family of a man killed in a helicopter crash is suing the aircraft’s owner for negligence.

Koethe Bourgeois, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Rory J. Bourgeois, and Kolton Bourgeois filed suit June 30 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Westwind Helicopters Inc. of Santa Fe, Texas.

According to the complaint, on June 11 Rory Bourgeois was riding in a helicopter between the Eugene Island 331 and 317A offshore oil platforms when it crashed and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, causing Rory’s death. 

The defendant is accused of failing to properly maintain and service the helicopter, failing to perform an adequate pre-flight inspection, failing to reasonably operate the helicopter and failing to ensure the pilot was competent to fly.

The plaintiffs are seeking actual damages in an amount exceeding jurisdictional limits, interest and costs.

They are represented by Houston attorney Francis I. Spagnoletti of Spagnoletti & Co.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 3:14-cv-00212

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.


Rory James Bourgeois

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA286
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in South Tim Bailier Platform, GM
Aircraft: BELL 206 L4, registration: N207MY
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 11, 2014, about 1430 central daylight time, a Bell 206L4 helicopter, N207MY, impacted the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter was registered to Coy Leasing LLC and operated by Westwind Helicopters, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The commercial- rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following was in effect. The flight departed an oil platform at 1409, and was en route to the South Tim Bailier 317 platform.

A witness who was located on the oil platform reported that he heard the helicopter approach the platform. The helicopter was on a straight in approach to the platform, when the helicopter started to spin in a clockwise direction. The witness added that the helicopter spun 8-10 times, before the helicopter went silent and then dropped to the water.

The helicopter sank and was recovered from about a depth of 380 feet of water. Examination of the helicopter showed extensive damage to the cabin. The tail boom had separated from the main fuselage and was recovered from the surface of the water. One of the main rotor blades, which had separated about four feet from the mast was not recovered. Several sections of the helicopter were not recovered, and included the landing skids, cabin door, and floor.

The wreckage was retrained for further examination.


Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03

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