Friday, November 2, 2018

Aerospatiale AS 355F2 Ecureuil, registered to and operated by Catalyst Aviation LLC, N372CA: Fatal accident occurred October 30, 2018 in Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York
Airbus; Grand Prairie, Texas
Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N372CA 

Location: Beekmantown, NY
Accident Number: ERA19FA035
Date & Time: 10/30/2018, 1611 EDT
Registration: N372CA
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS 355F2
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load 

On October 30, 2018, at 1611 eastern daylight time, an Aerospatiale AS355, N372CA, was destroyed when it collided with a wooden utility pole and power lines near Beekmantown, New York. The airline transport pilot and a lineman were fatally injured. The pilot-rated passenger and another lineman sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Catalyst Aviation, LLC, Hammonton, New Jersey, and was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 as a rotorcraft external load flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed from a designated landing zone near Plattsburgh, New York, at 1602.

The pilot and lineman were working on power lines that were supported by a series of two 75-foot-tall wooden utility poles connected by a wooden horizontal bar and two wooden cross bars. The power lines were oriented northwest/southeast.

The lineman, who survived the accident, stated that he had flown earlier that day in order to install a block on one of the utility poles. The block was a large pulley that would be used to pull fiber optic wire thru in the future. He said, that during that flight, the pilot, who was seated in the front right seat, had a hard time keeping the helicopter steady as he approached the pole because the "..wind was too strong." So, all they did was temporarily put the block on the wire and returned to base. The lineman sent a text message to his foreman during this flight and stated, "[The pilot] is very good. He just has horrible tailwind on the side we actually need to be on."

Prior to the flight to install the second block, the pilot, pilot-rated passenger and both linemen held a safety meeting. The surviving lineman said, "We all agreed the wind was too strong to complete the job. The full job would take us about 5-7 minutes." However, they all agreed that the wind was okay to just temporarily install the block like the first one. They departed with the surviving lineman seated in the aft left seat, and the other lineman was out on the bench, which was installed externally on the right side of the helicopter, in preparation to install the block. The surviving lineman said the pilot hovered for about 5 seconds to let the other lineman place the block on the line. He said, "As we approached, the helicopter skid hit the pole. [The pilot] hit the pole with the skid three times. The last time, [the pilot] hit real hard." The helicopter then rolled upside down into the power lines and caught on fire.

The linemen's foreman was on the ground and watched the helicopter make a 45° approach to the left side of the utility pole. As the helicopter got into place, the right skid was almost even with the top of the pole. The foreman observed the lineman, who was out on the bench, connect the static line, open the gate for the block, and place the block on the power line. As the lineman was trying to close the gate of the block, the helicopter's right skid struck the pole. The helicopter pulled away and then struck the pole harder a second time. The helicopter then struck the pole a third time and immediately rolled over to the right, and the main rotor blades struck the adjacent static line and top of the other pole. The body of the helicopter got entangled in the energized 115 kVA power lines and caught on fire.

A representative of the operator also witnessed the accident. He stated that the helicopter made a slow approach to the left side of the pole on a southeasterly heading (about 120°). The engines were operating normally. As the helicopter got into place on the pole, the lineman was out on the bench with the harness on and began to install the block. The helicopter then slid to the left and the lineman reacted by putting his hands up in the air. The helicopter then slid back to the right toward the pole. Though the operator representative was on the opposite side of the pole and was unable to see exactly what happened, he thought the helicopter's right skid struck the pole because it immediately rolled over to the right. The main rotor blades hit the top of the utility pole and the helicopter got entangled in the power lines and caught on fire.

The pilot-rated passenger was observing the flight for training purposes from the front left seat. He remembered approaching the pole and the next thing he knew the helicopter was upside down and on fire. The pilot-rated passenger said he was covered in jet fuel, so he unfastened his seatbelt and jumped to the ground. He told law enforcement authorities shortly after the accident that the helicopter struck the utility pole twice and rolled inverted into power lines.

The helicopter sustained extensive fire damage. A review of cell phone video taken shortly after the accident revealed that sections of the helicopter dropped from the power lines as it disintegrated. Found directly below the power lines was a portion of the cockpit including the front left and right seats, both engines, the main rotor system with all three main rotor blades attached, the combiner gearbox (which remained attached to the main transmission gear box), and the tail boom. The helicopter's landing gear remained caught in the power lines and was later removed by the New York Power Authority.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane; rotorcraft-helicopter and rotorcraft-helicopter instrument. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued on August 22, 2018. At that time, he reported a total of 16,500 flight hours.

The pilot-rated passenger held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter and rotorcraft-helicopter instrument. His last FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on January 19, 2018. At that time, he reported a total of 1,900 flight hours.

Weather at Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG), Plattsburgh, New York, about 10 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1553, was reported as wind from 290° at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast ceiling at 3,100 ft, temperature 4° C, dewpoint -2° C, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.06 in HG.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aerospatiale
Registration: N372CA
Model/Series: AS 355F2 F1
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Catalyst Aviation LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135); Rotorcraft External Load (133)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PBG, 234 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3100 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Plattsburgh, NY (None)
Destination: Plattsburgh, NY (None)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight and On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: In-Flight and On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  44.744167, -73.439167 (est)

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

Robert T. Hoban 
Shamong, New York
Beloved Brother, Father and Partner


Jeremy P. Kearns of Cook Street Norfolk, New York passed away unexpectedly October 30th, 2018 in Plattsburgh, New York while doing what he truly enjoyed and considered his true calling. Jeremy was 30 years old.
~



Robert T. Hoban, Jr., age 56, of Shamong, New Jersey, formerly of Wayne, Pennsylvania passed suddenly on October 30th, 2018.

Bob is survived and adored by his amazing daughters: Tania DiRoberto, Alexis Hoban and Jessica Hoban. He will be especially missed by Judy Meyer, his dearest love and partner, and her family. He is leaving behind his four big sisters and brothers-in-law: Kathy and Rob Chorney, Dee and Tom Castorani, Patti and Andy Simpson and Maureen and Matthew Gambone. He also leaves his Step-mother, Marge Hoban, and her children: John and Michelle Gallagher, Kevin and Luiza Gallagher, Christine Early and Beth and Vince Dinenna. His Goddaughter, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and all of us will miss his laugh and joy of life.


Bob's family invites relatives and friends to join them in a celebration of his life. Visitation will be held Sunday, November 4th from 5-8 PM at D'anjolell Memorial Homes, 392 Lancaster Ave, Frazer, PA 19355. All are invited again on Monday morning Nov. 5th, to his Funeral Mass 11 o'clock AM at St. Norbert Church, 50 Leopard Rd., Paoli, PA 19301. Interment immediately following at the Washington Memorial Chapel Cemetery, Route 23 at Valley Forge National Park, Valley Forge, PA.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation:  https://secure2.wish.org


Obituary for Jeremy P. Kearns

Louisville: Jeremy P. Kearns of Cook Street Norfolk, NY passed away unexpectedly Tuesday October 30, 2018 in Plattsburgh, NY while doing what he truly enjoyed and considered his true calling. Jeremy was 30 years old.

Jeremy’s family and friends are welcome to call on Sunday November 4, 2018 from 12:00 to 2:00 P.M. and 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. A Mass of Christian Burial while be held 10:00 A.M. Monday morning, November 5, 2018 at Sacred Heart Church. Burial will be to follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery, Louisville.

Jeremy is survived by his loving family, his three beautiful children Khloe Lynn, Karter W. Kearns and Kent Miller of Norfolk, NY and his girlfriend Victoria Smith, of Norfolk. The mother of his children, Sara Roundpoint of Ottawa, Ontario, his parents Lori Henophy and companion Rob Burns of Massena, William Kearns of Massena, and William Henophy and wife Denise of Louisville. Siblings Lauren Henophy and fiancĂ© Raymond A. Stevens of Clay, NY and Mark W. Henophy and girlfriend Jennifer Roundpoint of Louisville. Also surviving Jeremy are his grandparents William and Kesiah Henophy of Louisville, William and Jane Bradish of Massena along with a niece Olivia R. Stevens. Jeremy was predeceased by a great friend Jordan Markell of Massena NY. Jeremy was born on March 17, 1988 in Ogdensburg, NY. A graduate of Massena Central, Jeremy continued his studies at SUNY Canton later attending lineman’s school. 

Shortly after he began his career as an apprentice lineman for IBEW Local 1249, attaining the status and honor of Journeyman Lineman. Risking his life to provide a bright future for his loving family. A proud member of the IBEW local 1249, a brotherhood strong and proud of the service and work they do for people everywhere. Known and loved for his infectious smile and sense of humor, Jeremy enjoyed countless outdoor activities and anything with a fast motor. Snowmobiling, dirt bikes, hunting, fishing, and boating were just some of things that Jeremy cherished in his life. And above all, the most cherished in his life, was the time spent with his young children showing them his affection to no end.

Memorial contributions are welcome at www.NSUJL.org A nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families of fallen or injured IBEW Journeymen Linemen, Utility Linemen, Apprentice Linemen, Groundsmen, Operators, LCTT and/or their spouses and minor children.


Family and friends are welcome to share memories of Jeremy and condolences with his family by visiting www.PhillipsMemorial.com 




BEEKMANTOWN — Two people died after jumping from a helicopter that got caught up in power lines Tuesday afternoon.

Robert T. Hoban Jr., 56, of Shamang, N.J., and Jeremy P. Kearns, 30, of Massena, died after the chopper got caught up in power lines as it hovered near a utility pole in a cornfield across from 131 Burke Road.

Benjamin L. McAllister, 30, of Hopkinton in St. Lawrence County, and Scott E. Fabia, 34, of Hyde Park, were treated for injuries and kept for observation at University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, State Police said Wednesday.

The aircraft crashed across from 131 Burke Road at about 4:15 p.m.

The men were contractors working on the power lines for the New York Power Authority, Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day said.

Witnesses saw all four jumping from the burning helicopter, a leap of about 40 feet – the height of the utility pole. A man who was working on a nearby garage helped pull them away before the burning wreckage of the chopper could fall on them. It came crashing down less than 10 minutes later, he said, declining to give his name.

“They jumped out,” he said. “It was either jump out or burn to death.”

Brenda Trombley, 57, who owns the home and attached garage that contractor was working on, confirmed his account.

Nearby farmers who saw the flaming chopper also ran to help, she said.

Firefighters were dousing the burning wreckage at around 4:30 p.m. as thick black smoke billowed skyward.

The chopper’s landing gear was still hanging from the power lines.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in progress

State Police said the workers in the chopper were installing a series of pulleys at the top of the utility poles that would be used later to run a fiber optic line alongside the existing power lines.

They run from a nearby substation to another one in Vermont, and no customers should have lost power as a result of the accident, Day said.

Two Clinton County Sheriff’s Department deputies, who arrived first, immediately began performing life saving measures and then moved the victims further away from the crash site, Day said.

One person was “in code” and CPR was in progress, a radio report over the scanner said shortly after the crash.

A radio transmission broadcast over the scanner described the condition of the one victim as he was taken by ambulance to CVPH in Plattsburgh.

The man was having trouble breathing, had chest pain and an open laceration from the fall, the report said.

Initial reports

Clinton County Dispatch first reported that the helicopter had crashed into a house, but the accident took place in a corn field, at least 40 feet from the nearest residence.

First responders reported seeing smoke as they approached the location at the intersection of Burke and Pardy roads.

Advance Life Support crew were among those who responded to the crash.

Burke Road was closed between Route 22 and Pardy Road.

Radio reports from another ambulance at about 5:15 p.m. indicated the patient it carried had witnessed the crash and was “in extreme respiratory distress.”

Probe continues

The helicopter, a 1981 Aerospatiale, model AS355F2, was owned by Catalyst Aviation LLC, she said, and hired by Northline Utilities for the New York Power Authority, to work on the power lines.

A phone number found online for Catalyst was disconnected. Messages left Tuesday and today for Northline, which is located in AuSable Forks, were not returned.

Hoban was “one of the pilots,” Fleishman said. He and Kearns were pronounced dead at CVPH,

Autopsies have been scheduled for Hoban Wednesday and Kearns on Thursday, Nov. 1, police said.

Beekmantown and Plattsburgh District 3 volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the location, with West Chazy Fire on standby. Morrisonville EMS, West Chazy EMS, Plattsburgh City Fire Department EMS and EMS of CVPH responded as well.

“State Police have been in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board,” the statement said.

Original article ➤ http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com




BEEKMANTOWN — The victims of Tuesday's helicopter crash here were working for Northline Utilities, under contract by the New York Power Authority.

Robert T. Hoban Jr., 56, of Shamang, N.J., and Jeremy P. Kearns, 30, of Massena, died after the chopper got caught up in power lines as it hovered near a utility pole in a cornfield across from 131 Burke Road.

Benjamin L. McAllister, 30, of Hopkinton in St. Lawrence County was treated the University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh and released Tuesday night.

Scott E. Fabia, 34, of Hyde Park, was also treated at the hospital and held for observation. He was discharged Wednesday.

Kearns was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1249, according to the group’s Facebook page.

'HEAVY HEART'

“It is with a heavy heart that I am informing you that we have lost one of our 1249 JL’s,” Mark Lawrence, the union’s business manager, posted on the page.

“Brother Jeremy P. Kearns lost his life yesterday doing the job he loved when the helicopter he was on made contact; creating a dangerous situation.”

McAllister is also a member.

“Brother Ben McAllister was also on board and by the grace of God suffered minor injuries,” Lawrence said in the post.

“I am so thankful that he is going to be okay physically, but I know that mentally he will need time to heal.”

Hoban was "one of the pilots," Fleishman said. He and Kearns were pronounced dead at CVPH.

Autopsies were scheduled for Hoban on today and Kearns on Thursday, Nov. 1, police said.

FLYING LOW

Witnesses saw all four jumping from the burning helicopter, a leap of about 40 feet — the height of the utility pole. The victims were pulled to safety by onlookers before the aircraft fell to the cornfield below.

Daniel Phillips, who works at the Bubbins Farm on Pardy Road, was among those who ran to help.

He preferred not to talk about it, though.

FLEW OVER CITY

At about noon Tuesday, the helicopter was parked at a staging area for the Beekmantown work on the grounds of the former North Country Shopping Center on Route 9 near North Bowl Lane north of the city.

Multiple people told the Press-Republican that they had spotted the chopper flying over the city; at one point, it traveled low over U.S. Oval.

Liane Tusa of Quebec was visiting her boyfriend at his residence on Nichols Avenue, she said, when the chopper flew over the house shortly before the crash.

“It was already flying extremely low, and the house shook violently as it passed by,” she said.

Plattsburgh International Airport Director Christopher Kreig said the helicopter had been coming in and out to fuel up.

“We have a lot of transient traffic that comes through the airport,” he said. “That’s not uncommon.

“We have a fixed-base operator that provides fuel and ground-handling service to a variety of general aviation traffic.

“We were saddened by what happened. Our condolences go out to the families of the folks involved.”

'HEARTS GO OUT'

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Traffic Safety Board arrived Wednesday to investigate the crash, State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said.

The helicopter, a 1981 Aerospatiale, model AS355F2, was owned by Catalyst Aviation LLC, she said, and hired by Northline Utilities LLC for the New York Power Authority, to work on the power lines.

“Today, we are focused on supporting our Northline community," the company's Vice President Paul Quick said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of all involved. Northline Utilities is fully cooperating with the state and federal teams who are investigating the accident.”

Just hours before the fatal crash, a press release announced that Northline, based in AuSable Forks, had been awarded the 2018 Service Quality and Response Award by Iberdrola and its U.S. affiliate AVANGRID Inc. at the Global Supplier of the Year Awards.

Northline, the release said, performs line construction work, among other services, for AVANGRID’s electric companies in New York and New England, including NYSEG.

New York Power Authority spokesman Paul DeMichele declined to comment on Wednesday, citing the ongoing investigation. He referred all inquiries to State Police.

Catalyst could not be reached for comment.

THE PROJECT

State Police at the crash site said Tuesday that the workers in the chopper were installing a series of pulleys at the top of the utility poles that would be used later to run a fiber optic line alongside the existing power lines.

That existing system is connected to a transmission line that includes a 1.7-mile-long segment running 195 feet below the surface of Lake Champlain between Cumberland Head and Vermont.

The 8-mile-long Plattsburgh-to-Vermont PV-20 transmission line, completed in February, is jointly owned by the New York Power Authority and Vermont Electric Power Company.

"The new section uses several of the latest technological advances, including fiber-optic cables for detecting adverse conditions of the line, supporting greater situational awareness and data sharing between NYPA and the Vermont Electric Power Co.," a press release said then.

The line carries hydropower from NYPA's St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project, part of which flows to neighboring states under federal law.

About 3,000 Vermont Electric Cooperative customers in the Champlain Islands of Vermont were without power for about an hour and a half after the accident, Manager of Member Relations Andrea Cohen said.

Original article ➤ https://www.pressrepublican.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RIP. Robert. One hell of a pilot