Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Fatal
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Las Vegas FSDO-19
UNREGISTERED GYROCOPTER CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 1 PERSON ON BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, DRY LAKE, LINCOLN COUNTY, NEVADA.
The sheriff in Lincoln County, Nevada, confirmed Friday that a licensed pilot with a St. George address was killed in the desert east of Alamo, Nevada, during an experimental aircraft flight Thursday.
Kevin Walter Eaton, 58, died shortly before 10:30 a.m. local time (11:30 in St. George) while piloting a single-seat gyrocopter in the area of Delamar Dry Lake, known popularly as Texas Dry Lake because it resembles the state of Texas from the air, Sheriff Kerry Lee said.
The lake was once used as an emergency landing strip for the experimental X-15 plane during the early 1960s and is still a location where the Air Force conducts military exercises. Eaton and a resident from the Salt Lake area had hauled the gyrocopter to the area from St. George in a trailer, Lee said.
“It was for recreating purposes,” Lee said.
“(The witness) called and said his friend had crashed in a small helicopter,” Lee said. “The victim had gone up about 100 feet when the witness said he heard a ‘pop,’ and the gyrocopter came straight down to the ground.”
Lee said he notified Eaton’s wife in St. George on Thursday and had been in further contact with the family Friday morning. Eaton’s driver’s license also listed a St. George address.
An investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene following the crash and a National Transportation Safety Board investigator was en route, but the federal officials called off the investigation into the cause of the crash after determining that the experimental craft didn’t have a tail number and wasn’t licensed, Lee said.
Eaton was a certified pilot, however, so the FAA asked for an autopsy. The Clark County Coroner’s Office completed the autopsy Friday morning, except for a report on whether any alcohol or other controlled substances were detected, which could take weeks to complete, Lee said.
“I imagine that’s the main thing they’ll be looking at,” he said. “Nothing else looked out of the ordinary for what you’d expect at that type of a scene. … Normally we wouldn’t do a toxicology report, but the FAA asked for it.”
Original article can be found here: http://www.thespectrum.com
LAS VEGAS — Authorities say a pilot is dead after the crash of a small single-seat helicopter in a remote Nevada canyon about 75 miles north of Las Vegas.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee tells The Associated Press a friend of the pilot witnessed the crash and summoned authorities about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Lee says the witness reported hearing an unusual "pop" sound before the experimental-style aircraft plunged to the ground about 12 miles east of Highway 93 off Alamo Canyon Road.
The sheriff says it appeared the pilot was from St. George, Utah. His name wasn't immediately made public.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in Hawthorne, Calif., said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
Original article can be found here: http://lasvegassun.com