Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bell OH-58A Kiowa, N911RW: Accident occurred October 03, 2019 in Fort Meade, Polk County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Aircraft responding to downed gyrocopter, N463JW, and made a hard landing.

Polk County Sheriff's Office


Date: 03-OCT-19
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N911RW
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: OH58A
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PUBLIC USE
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)

POLK COUNTY, Florida — A Polk County Sheriff's Office helicopter and a gyrocopter are both down in a field after separate crash landings in Ft. Meade.

Aerials from Action Air 1 showed the Sheriff's Office helicopter on its side on Thursday.

According to Polk County Sheriff's Office, the two pilots both had hard landings. The pilots were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

Authorities say the gyrocopter went down first, crashing on Mosaic property near Manley Road. While the Polk County Sheriff's Office helicopter, operated by 52-year-old Lavon Hughes, was above that scene it also went down.

Authorities say the area is extremely rural, wet and mucky — which made the rescue difficult and led to the Coast Guard being called in.

"I'd like to thank the other agencies who came out this afternoon such as Polk Fire Rescue, FWC, Mosaic personnel, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Seminole County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Coast Guard. This was an extraordinary situation, and we're happy that both men were not seriously hurt," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Both men were taken to a local hospital after they were rescued. The sheriff's office said they are doing well.

The name of the gyrocopter pilot has not been released.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it will investigate both hard landings.

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