Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Robinson R44 Raven II, N744RB: Accident occurred August 20, 2021 in New Roads, Louisiana

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; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Bates Show Sales Staff Inc

Location: New Roads, LA 
Accident Number: CEN21LA385
Date & Time: August 20, 2021, 03:40 Local 
Registration: N744RB
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Unknown

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N744RB
Model/Series: R44 II 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.72554,-91.353989 (est)

West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office - 

West Feliciana Sheriff’s Deputies responded late Friday to reports of a person floating in the Mississippi River near the mouth of Bayou Sara.  According to Sheriff Brian Spillman, when the responding deputies got to the scene, they saw a man clinging to a propane bottle approximately 50 feet off the bank.  Recognizing the man was in extreme distress, WFPSO Crisis Response Team members launched a rescue vessel and attempted to reach him, while other deputies waded out into the water.  

After bringing him to shore, the man told deputies he had left Lafayette in a Robinson R44 helicopter before 4:00am and went down in the river about 45 minutes later.  He was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital suffering from exposure and a possible diabetic condition.

“He is extremely lucky to have survived the crash, and that he went down in an area that is near a public access point to the river’” said Spillman.  “He was in the water over 12 hours.  I don’t think he could have lasted much longer.”  

The man told deputies he was alone in the rotorcraft.  His name is being withheld pending notification of family members.

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