Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hughes 369D, N103SU: Fatal accident occurred December 29, 2020 in Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Rotorcraft crashed in wooded area due to mechanical issue while trimming trees. 

Signature Property Holdings LLC

Signature Utility Services LLC

Date: 29-DEC-20
Time: 14:00:00Z
Regis#: N103SU
Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Aircraft Model: 369D
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: OTHER
Operation: 91

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

Jason Krakowiak

The Krakowiak's are one of the most phenomenal families that you will ever meet.  They are a spiritual, fun-loving, easy-going, adventurous family, whose personalities and smiles light up people's lives.  They share their love with everyone they come across, friends, family, or strangers. 

Jason's profession was a helicopter pilot, where he was a flight instructor, performed aerial firefighting, oil and gas support, government and private charters, and most recently, he was an aerial saw pilot.  Jason tragically lost his life a week after his 40th birthday, on December 29, 2020, attempting an emergency landing while flying for work.  Jyl is a full-time mom and teacher for their two boys, Parker (6 yo) and August (4 yo).

Jyl, Parker, and August have been devastated by the loss of their husband, father, and hero.  In these poignant times, Jyl is still trying to process the loss of her soulmate, while being the anchor for her children.  She has to provide for her and her family, manage bills, finances, and plan for their altered future.

Due to the nature of this tragedy, the Nation Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are involved in an investigation of the helicopter accident, as is standard protocol for aviation disasters.  This investigation currently lasts, on average, 2+ years for a final report to be generated that could begin to provide closure to the family.

Read more here:

Jason Krakowiak

A Florida pilot died Tuesday morning in Glade after his helicopter crashed and burst into flames.

Just before 9 a.m. emergency teams lined Highway 15 South as a plume of smoke could be seen emerging from the property of pastor Dan Atkinson, at Tuckers Crossing. Ronny Cooley, the sole witness, said he heard an explosion before rescue personnel raced in. Jason Krakowiak, 40, of Ormond Beach, Florida, was pronounced dead on the scene.

At the time of the crash the Hughes 369D burst into flames, said Jones County Fire Council spokeswoman Dana Bumgardner. Krakowiak, the sole occupant, had been clearing tree limbs along power-line rights-of-way under the employ of Signature Utility Services, believed to be under contract with Mississippi Power. Krakowiak had declared an emergency landing before the helicopter crashed in a wooded area, a source close to the investigation said, and the location was difficult for vehicles to access.

Standing near a pond on his neighbor’s property, Cooley said he’d seen the helicopter in the area.

“It was loud,” he said. “I heard an explosion. I turned to my wife and said, ‘I think that helicopter just went down.’”

The fire that ensued was a magnesium fire, Bumgardner said, which is difficult to extinguish. A series of popping noises could be heard coming from the wreckage after the fire was put out, so the immediate area wasn’t safe for non-emergency personnel for a time.

Messages to those who knew Krakowiak weren’t immediately returned.

Bumgardner said the pilot was on his first flight of the day, as the company had been sawing limbs in the area the two previous days. The helicopters that do the trimming fly low and have a long series of blades protruding from under it that trim branches they come in contact with.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department assisted Glade, Powers, Calhoun, M & M and Sandersville fire departments. The Jones County Coroner’s Office, EMServ, Mississippi Power, International Fire & Safety, MEMA and the Jones County Emergency Operations Center also responded. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking over the investigation, said EOC director Paul Sheffield.

Ernest Hollingsworth of the coroner’s office said Krakowiak died of blunt-force trauma.

1 comment:

  1. video of cutting