Saturday, October 24, 2020

Bell 206B JetRanger II, N716VL: Accident occurred October 21, 2020 in Point Lookout, Nassau County, New York

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York LLC

Location: Point Lookout, NY 
Accident Number: ERA21LA028
Date & Time: October 21, 2020, 16:12 Local 
Registration: N716VL
Aircraft: Bell 206 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 21, 2020, about 1612 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206B, N716VL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Point Lookout, New York. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that earlier that day he departed from Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York en route to Sterling Heliport (PS01), Croydon, Pennsylvania, for scheduled maintenance. While en route he elected to return due to adverse weather and remained on the ramp waiting for it to improve. Later that day with a pilot reported ceiling of 900 ft which was reported to be better to the west (his intended direction), he elected to depart. After takeoff air traffic control communications were transferred to John F Kennedy International Airport air traffic control tower and while in contact with that facility he noted the weather was coming in quick and hard, with the ceiling reported to be at 300 ft. He told the controller that he would return to FRG, but as he attempted to return he was having trouble holding a heading. While in instrument meteorological conditions, he heard a loud noise in the tail and the helicopter yawed clockwise. He attempted to maintain pitch attitude and descended into about 1 ft of water coming to rest upright. He did not perceive an issue with the engine which remained running after coming to rest. He secured the helicopter and engine then got out of the helicopter and walked to a nearby boat then to a U.S. Coast Guard boat and was transported to land and then to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The helicopter was recovered and secured for further examination of the flight control and main and tail rotor drive systems.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell 
Registration: N716VL
Model/Series: 206 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KJFK,11 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:51 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 300 ft AGL
Visibility: 0.5 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Farmingdale, NY (FRG)
Destination: Croydon, PA (PS01)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.598289,-73.56209 (est)

Merrick Truck Co. 1

This afternoon at approximately 4:15pm the Merrick Fire Department was alerted for a possible “aircraft down” just outside the Jones Beach Inlet. 

While enroute, units received confirmation of a helicopter that had crashed in the waters just north of the Inlet. 

Members from Truck Company responded with Marine 1, upon arrival the crew was faced with shallow water making it difficult to access the helicopter. Rescue swimmers were deployed to assist the NCPD Marine unit. 

After making contact with the pilot, he was then back-boarded and brought to Marine 1 for further medical assistance. 

Marine 1 transported the pilot to Jones Beach Coast Guard Station, where an ambulance was waiting to take him to local hospital.

Merrick Truck Co. 1


  1. Interesting flight track before the crash:

  2. Another pilot stuck in IMC not experienced adequately to extricate himself out of situation.
    Looks like he did a good job ending the n flight landing in shallow water near shore. Hope he is better.

  3. ATC recordings:


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