Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sport Copter Vortex, N634SC: Fatal accident occurred August 19, 2019 near Viroqua Municipal Airport (Y51), Vernon County, Wisconsin

Jack E. Wuolle

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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


Location: Viroqa, WI
Accident Number: CEN19FA276
Date & Time: 08/19/2019, 1834 CDT
Registration: N634SC
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 19, 2019, about 1834 Central daylight time, an experimental light sport, Sport Copter Vortex gyrocopter, N634SC, impacted a corn field about .31 miles west of the departure end of runway 29 at Viroqua Municipal Airport (Y51) Viroqua, Wisconsin. The gyrocopter was owned and operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. The non-certificated pilot was fatally injured and the gyrocopter was destroyed by the impact and post-crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Y51 about 1830.

According to a family member, the purpose of the flight was to practice taxi operations and become familiar with the handling characteristics of the aircraft. The reason the gyrocopter took off is unknown.

Witnesses at the airport and nearby stated that, after becoming airborne, the engine appeared to lose all power. None of the witnesses heard pops or bangs, and all described the engine noise as just stopping. The gyrocopter then descended rapidly into a corn field and shortly thereafter, smoke was observed rising from the field. First responders arrived to find the airplane fully engulfed in fire.

The debris field extended about 65 ft along a magnetic heading of 336°.

The gyrocopter was equipped with a Rotax 582 series engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SHIRLEY CARL
Registration: N634SC
Model/Series: SPORTCOPTER VORTEX No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLSE, 656 ft msl
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Viroqa, WI (Y51)
Destination: Viroqa, WI (Y51) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 43.582778, -90.914444

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.

Jack E. Wuolle, age 65, of rural Genoa, passed away unexpectedly on August 19th, 2019. He was born on January 3rd, 1954 to John and Eileen (Anderson) Wuolle in Gary Indiana. He attended and graduated from De Soto High School in 1972. He then attended WWTC in La Crosse and received a degree in welding. On July 16th, 1977 he married Carol Clemetson at his family farm. Together they had three children. They lived in Janesville until 1980 when they moved to the Romance area and he began logging. He logged until 1997, when he began working as a millwright and fabricator. In 2003 Jack and Carol purchased the Hideaway Bar and Restaurant in Chaseburg and operated it until the flood of August 2018 that caused extensive damage. He was a fan of craft beer and had a love of homebrewing.  He thoroughly enjoyed the company of family and friends. Jack found a deep love in aviation and enjoyed that hobby until his last moments. He will be greatly missed. 

Jack is  survived by his wife Carol Wuolle of Genoa; children Thad (Amy) Wuolle of Stoddard, Dan (Jennifer Stiltner) Wuolle of La Crosse, and Della (Ryan) McGuire of Westby; grandchildren Dawson Lewis, Jacob Witt, Jack Witt, and Riley McGuire; father John Wuolle of Viroqua; siblings Linda (Brian) Gaasrud of Illinois, Martin Wuolle of Phoenix, AZ, Kevin (Nanci) Wuolle of Genoa, and Sandra (Brian) Jewell of Ithaca. He was preceded in death by his mother, as well as other family and several close friends. 

A memorial visitation will take place on Monday, August 26th from 4-7 p.m. at the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua. Online condolences may be left at www.thorsonfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Young Eagle Foundation at: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/free-ye-flights.  

The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family. 


VIROQUA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The National Transportation Safety Board releases its preliminary report into an aircraft crash that killed a Genoa man.

The NTSB issued the two page report that gives details into what happened on August 19 when a Sportcopter Vortex piloted by Jack Wuolle of Genoa crashed shortly after taking off from the Viroqua Municipal Airport.

The report said that a family member told investigators that the purpose of the flight was “to practice taxi operations and become familiar with the handling characteristics of the aircraft. The reason the gyrocopter took off is unknown.”

In the report, witnesses said that the engine on the aircraft lost power. The described the engine noise as “just stopping.” The aircraft went down in a corn field about three-tenths of a mile from the end of the airport runway. They then saw smoke coming from the field.

Arriving first responders found the aircraft fully engulfed in the field.

The NTSB will issue a final report once their investigation is complete.


VERNON COUNTY, Wisconsin (WEAU) -- Officials responded to Viroqua Municipal Airport Monday after a phone call indicated a rotorcraft crash that officials later found to be fatal.

The name of rotorcraft operator is not being released at this time.

According to the Sheriff’s office, emergency crews located a downed rotorcraft in the field off of Miller Road in the town of Jefferson around 6:30 p.m.

Viroqua Fire Department was able to put out a small fire on an experimental Sport Copter Vortex. The rotor become detached upon impact and the body of the rotorcraft continued another 40 feet before coming to a rest in a corn field.

Officials say witnesses heard the engine stope and the rotorcraft was descending.

The accident remains under investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.weau.com

VERNON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) --The Viroqua Fire Department confirms it responded to what it's describing as an "aviation incident" near the city's municipal airport.

Viroqua's fire chief confirms the call came in just after 6:30 p.m. Monday to an incident near the airport.

No word on any injuries, or the number of people who were involved.

The fire chief says the Vernon County Sheriff's Department was still on the scene late Monday night, and the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to arrive.

The pilot and lone occupant of a rotorcraft died in a crash Monday night in a field near Viroqua Municipal Airport, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Vernon County 911 Dispatch Center received a call reporting the crash shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday and emergency crews were able to quickly locate the downed aircraft in a field off of Miller Road, in the town of Jefferson, according to a news release.

The Viroqua Fire Department was able to put out a small fire on what was eventually identified as an experimental Sport Copter Vortex. The single rotor became detached from the body of the aircraft upon impact, and the body of the aircraft continued another 40 feet before coming to rest in a corn field, police said.

Witnesses told police that they could see the rotorcraft leaving the Viroqua Municipal Airport, heard the engine stop, and saw the rotorcraft descend.

The pilot’s name is not being released, pending notification of the family.

The crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Vernon County Sheriff's Office, and the Vernon County Coroner's Office.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://madison.com

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