Monday, March 28, 2016

Robinson R44 Raven II, N776JM, Sea Air Inc: Fatal accident occurred March 27, 2016 in Canadensis, Pennsylvania


NTSB Identification: ERA16FA143 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 27, 2016 in Canadensis, PA
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N776JM
Injuries: 1 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 March 27, 2016, about 1135 eastern daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, N776JM, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Canadensis, Pennsylvania. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed Doylestown Airport (DYL) Doylestown, Pennsylvania about 1100 eastern daylight time, destined for Mountain Bay Airpark (PA49) in Greentown, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles to the north. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

About the time of the accident, a witness was outside his home about one half mile northwest of the accident site when he heard an aircraft engine overhead. The witness looked upward towards the sound, but the aircraft was obscured by clouds. He estimated the cloud height to be about 200 feet above the trees in his yard. The witness then heard a loud "boom" sound similar to a car striking a tree, followed by another boom sound a few seconds later. The accident site was subsequently located about 0.5 nautical miles from the witnesses' home.

The helicopter impacted a wooded area about 100 yards north of an east-west oriented ridgeline, and at an elevation about 20 feet below the top of the ridge, and about 2,000 feet above mean sea level. The wreckage path proceeded downhill along heading of about 325 degrees magnetic, and was about 175 feet long. All major components of the helicopter were located at the accident site. The wreckage was significantly fragmented and partially consumed by a post-crash fire. Continuity from the controls to the main and tail rotor systems could not be confirmed due to impact and fire damage, however all control rod ends were found in the wreckage path.

The throttle linkage on the collective pitch control assembly was found in the full open position. The mixture control knob and the control cable end (separated from the control arm) were found in the full rich position. The carburetor heat control linkage and slider valve were found in the on position.

The empennage, tail rotor gearbox, and one tail rotor blade that was fractured near its root, were among the debris found closest to the initial impact area. The engine, main rotor gearbox, and tail boom, were all separated from the fuselage and located along the wreckage path. The main rotor driveshaft was fracture separated at the main rotor hub, consistent with overload. Both main rotor blades remained attached to the hub and were significantly damaged by impact and fire. The fuselage components were fragmented and thermally damaged. All of the cockpit flight controls were found in the debris.

Examination of the engine revealed fire and impact damage. The crankshaft was rotated by hand, and continuity was confirmed from the powertrain through the valvetrain to the accessory section. Valve continuity to the number 5 cylinder could not be confirmed due to impact damage to each pushrod. Compression was confirmed in all cylinders using the thumb method. Both magnetos were damaged by impact and fire, and could not be actuated to produce spark. The spark plugs were intact, and exhibited normal wear.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued March 10, 2016. He reported 2,325 total hours of flight experience, and 31 hours in the six months previous to that date.

Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, was located about 10 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 1,915 feet. At 1153, the reported weather included an overcast ceiling at 300 feet with 7 statute miles of visibility. The wind was from 140 degrees at 7 knots, the temperature was 4 degrees C, the dew point was 3 degrees C; altimeter setting was 30.31 inches of mercury. An Airmen's Meteorological Information warning of mountain obscuration was in effect for the accident area at the time.

A portable global positioning system receiver was recovered from the accident site and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Authorities Tuesday identified the pilot killed Sunday when his helicopter crashed in northeastern Pennsylvania as 81-year-old John A. Meyer, of Warwick.

Meyer, of the township's Jamison section, died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Pike County Coroner's Office.

"We're not sure what caused this ... it's unclear," Meyer's wife, Dianne, said.

She said her husband had more than 40 years of experience as a pilot and had been flying a helicopter for about 10 years.

Meyer's Robinson R44 helicopter left Doylestown Airport in Buckingham en route to Mountain Bay Airport in Greentown, Pike County, when it crashed at 11:31 a.m. in a wooded area near Route 390 (Krummel Hill Road), authorities said. 

The crash occurred in a heavily forested and rocky part of the 5,500-acre Skytop Lodge resort near the Monroe County border, according to The Times-Tribune of Scranton. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. 

Meyer was flying his helicopter upstate because he wanted to tend to his family's summer home at Lake Wallenpaupack, his wife said. 

The Times-Tribune reports that rescuers found the aircraft after they pinged the pilot's cellphone.

Dianne Meyer, who's 79, said she and her husband celebrated 57 years of marriage. They have three grown sons; Rick, who is also a pilot, and Darin and Brent, who both work in trucking.

Story and photo:

GREENE TOWNSHIP -- We are learning more about a deadly helicopter crash Sunday night in Pike County.

Investigators were on the scene all day Monday in a remote wooded area near Skytop Lodge.

Officials say the chopper took off Sunday morning headed to a small private airport not far from the crash site off Route 390 north of Canadensis.

The pilot never reached his destination and crashed in the woods.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, FAA, and Pike County EMA were at the wreckage Monday looking for what caused the chopper to crash about 30 to 40 minutes after takeoff.

The Pike County coroner is not expected to release the pilot's name until Tuesday.

Investigators could not say why the helicopter wasn't considered missing until around 9 p.m. Sunday when the search started in the area of Skytop Lodge in Monroe County.

Emergency crews were able to use the pilot's cell phone signal to locate the crash scene.

"The helicopter has been fragmented into several pieces. Whether or not it's upside down is something we're still looking at. It's not very clear at the moment. But we've just begun. We've just gotten myself and our experts here. We've just started, so I wish I had more information about the details. We just don't have it yet," said NTSB official Doug Brazy.

Officials say the helicopter was headed to Mountain Bay Air Park located in a private development several miles north of the wreckage in the Greentown area.

Crews are expected to remove what's left of the helicopter Tuesday afternoon, but still have lots of work to do to determine what caused the deadly crash.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should call the NTSB.

Story and video:

PIKE COUNTY-(WBRE/WYOU)- Federal investigators are on the scene in rural Greene Township after a deadly helicopter crash on Sunday.The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for clues in the crash.

The FAA arrived in Greene Township around 9 this morning to assist in the investigation into the deadly helicopter crash that occurred about a mile and a half beyond this gate.

All this started around 8 pm last night, when the FAA alerted Pike County Emergency Management officials of a missing rotorcraft in the area.

The Pike county coroner was called to the scene and confirmed the pilot of the helicopter, the only person on board, was killed in the crash. No identity has been released.

Five different county agencies responded to the call, and searched to find a missing single piloted helicopter  thought to have been headed to Doylestown Airport in Bucks County.

Crews were finally able to locate the copter in the deep woods off of Skytop mountain road. Greene Township, about 20 miles northeast of Mount Pocono, on private land using the pings from the victims cell phone. Now,

Now the FAA is assisting investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which reviews aircraft accidents. Anyone with information related to the crash are encouraged to call the NTSB public affairs line at (202) 314-6100.

Story and video:

GREENE TWP. - Emergency response crews responded to a fatal helicopter crash near Promised Land State Park, Sunday evening, March 27.

Pike County Coroner Chris Brighton confirmed that the pilot has died, according to a Pocono Record report. The identification of the pilot and cause of death has not yet been determined.

The helicopter went down in Greene Township; the exact location at first was not clear.

At 9:16 p.m., Sunday, emergency response units were dispatched to look for a downed aircraft in the area of Snow Hill Road, Porter Township. Hemlock Farm Fire & EMS, Bushkill Fire, Promised Land Fire, along with Bushkill ALS, Pike EMA and the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) were called out.

Pike EMA was reportedly using coordinates and pings from the pilot’s cell phone, to locate the aircraft.

The search included the Sky Top Lodge property near the Pike/ Monroe County line and then in the adjacent area in Greene Township, off Route 390. The helicopter was found in a heavily wooded area near the Sky Top Lodge property, in southern Pike County.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the Robinson R44 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances in a wooded area near Route 390. The flight departed Doylestown Airport, and was headed to the Mountain Bay Airport in Greentown.

A Pike County Fire/EMS Facebook announcement posted at 11:34 p.m. stated that the helicopter had been located, off Route 390. The coroner and the FAA were contacted.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were heading to the site on Monday.

Original article can be found here:

GREENE TWP. — A pilot was killed Sunday when his helicopter crashed in Skytop, Greene Twp., Pike County, in a heavily wooded area, according to Rob Hellyer, the emergency management agency coordinator for Porter Twp.

Emergency and rescue crews in Pike and Monroe counties in the Poconos spent much of the night searching and finally located the craft after they pinged the pilot’s cellphone.

The search began after the helicopter was reported missing when it didn’t land at Doylestown Airport in Bucks County as expected.

Mr. Hellyer said he didn’t know the pilot’s name.

Crews from Hemlock Farms, Bushkill and Greene Twp. were part of the multi-agency search that ended around midnight.

Original article can be found here:

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