Saturday, March 19, 2022

Hughes 369HM, N650AG: Fatal accident occurred March 18, 2022 in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County, Florida

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida
Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana
MD Helicopters; Mesa, Arizona

Pilots of The Caribbean LLC

Location: Loxahatchee, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA22FA160
Date and Time: March 18, 2022, 14:32 Local
Registration: N650AG
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 18, 2022, at 1432 eastern daylight time, an MD Helicopters 369HM, N650AG, was destroyed after it impacted power lines near Loxahatchee, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated by the commercial pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane single engine sea, and instrument airplane. He did not possess a helicopter rating at the time of the accident; he had a logbook endorsement for solo student flight with the prohibition of carrying passengers. The commercial pilot was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate on October 28, 2021. He reported 1,200 hours of total flight experience at that time.

The pilot-rated passenger held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land and an instrument rating. The pilot-rated passenger did not have any helicopter experience.

According to preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data obtained from the FAA, the helicopter departed Antiquers Aerodrome (FD08), Delray Beach, Florida, about 1358 and flew north over swampy, state land. The data further showed the helicopter flying at altitudes from 25 to 75 ft above ground level, and at speeds between 83 and 100 knots, before colliding with high-voltage power lines. The power lines were measured at 80 ft. The data ended at 1432.

The wreckage was located in a swampy field. Power lines were observed on the ground near the wreckage. The wreckage path began where the power lines were located and continued for about 250 ft on a 270° magnetic course. The wreckage was laying on its right side and oriented about a 320° heading. The skids were separated from the helicopter, and all four main rotor blades were fractured off the hub. One main rotor blade could not be located in the swamp. Power line impression marks were found on the landing light housing and the skid brackets. The tail rotor was located about 30 ft from the main wreckage. Parts from the engine cowling, tail section and engine were found scattered in the wreckage path. The instrument panel was intact.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N650AG
Model/Series: 369 HM
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPBI,21 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2600 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Delray Beach, FL (FD08)
Destination: Loxahatchee, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 26.853657,-80.30003 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Tom Stout
February 15th, 1957 - March 18th, 2022


Thomas Ralph Stout passed away suddenly on March 18th, 2022 in South Florida at the age of 65. A quick afternoon flight with close friend Rich Preiser resulted in a tragic, accidental crash that took both of their lives. Despite our pain, we're somewhat comforted knowing that our heroes died while doing what they loved.

Tom served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief, performing repairs and routine maintenance on the UH-1H HUEY and Cobra attack helicopters. He studied aviation maintenance technology at Embry-Riddle and worked extensively on fighter and rocket engines for seven years at Pratt & Whitney. Eventually, he transitioned into the industrial aeroderivative trade and established his own company, Turbo Services, which rapidly became an industry leader in the Pratt & Whitney FT4 market. His company was recently acquired by Sulzer and he was just 1 year away from full retirement. He has been awarded countless achievements and recognitions throughout his life.  

Tom took his experience with aviation from the ground to the sky, working hard to become an accomplished commercial airplane, seaplane and helicopter pilot. At the time of his death, he had a full stable of aircraft – his treasured De Havilland Turbine Beaver seaplane, a retired military Hughes OH-6 helicopter and UH-1H HUEY helicopter. The HUEY was especially important for him to own and fly, a true bucket list item after his relevant experience as a Marine crew chief on this very same aircraft.  

With his tireless work ethic and endless jokes, Tom brought joy and inspiration to everyone he met. He was a skilled mechanic, dive master, cherished mentor, devoted friend and so much more. He is survived by his fiancĂ© Crissy Whetstone, daughter Lexi Stout (husband Dustin West), pup sons Hagen and Ralphie as well as brother Doug (son Justin Stout), sister Karen Hughes (husband Patrick and daughter Christy) extended family, and many, many friends.  


Please visit this link for more details


In lieu of flowers or gifts, we strongly request that you show your support by contributing your stories and photos to Tom's memorial website and/or donating to one of the causes below in Tom's honor: 

The 22 Project

Pilots N Paws

Warrior Dog Foundation

Rich Preiser

Long time entrepreneur and restoration enthusiast Richard Preiser, age 71, of Delray Beach, Florida passed away on Friday, March 18, 2022. Richard was born May 7, 1950 in New York City a son of the late Albert and Florence Preiser. Richard is survived by his loving wife Peggy, a daughter Christi Raye with children Zoi & Parker Raye, a son Brian married to Ileah and children Annalise, Adelina, & Colston, brother and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

After graduating from high school in Franklin Square, NY, he enlisted in the USAF where he proudly served his country for four years which also included a tour in Vietnam. After completing his military service, Rich ended up settling down in Margate where he started chasing the American dream: family, job, interests, and ideas.

Known strong work ethic and business acumen, he began shaping plans to take a leap of faith in starting a business in his garage with his wife. With sheer grit and determination, this small printing business grew into a thriving company that has grown to support local businesses as well as a variety of nationwide companies.

Any time away from work meant that he could focus on his numerous interests which was met with equaled determination for perfection. Most of his hobbies and skills were self-taught but were quickly mastered. From restoring awarding winning airplanes to finding that diamond in the rough automobile to resurrect, his eye for detail equaled that of any professionally trained craftsman.

The depth and breadth of his life’s impact is only now being realized, and it all comes down to this: what a great man, with a sense of humor to match. Perfectly timed and delivered he used this to connect with anyone who would listen. Strangers were considered friends in the making and once you were there, you’d know that it would be a friend for life.

People often speak of how their loved ones are taken “too early” in terms of age; but in Rich’s case, we would hope that all would see as we do. Rich was taken “too early” in terms of his value to the betterment of our lives.

For those who knew him, Rich reminded us of the ideal to which we should aspire – in how we live, how we dream, how important it is to live large; but most of all, he showed us how to treat those lives that we touch.

A prayer service for Richard will be held Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM at Babione - Kraeer Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 1100 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33432. A visitation will occur from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, 1100 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33432. A mass of the Christian burial will occur Friday, March 25, 2022 from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at St. Lucy Catholic Church, 3510 S Ocean Blvd, Highland Beach, FL 33487. Lunch & Reception to follow Friday March 25, 2022 at 1:15 at Club 66 Museum, 2051 High Ridge Rd. Boynton Beach FL 33426.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Preiser family.

Two people who died when their helicopter crashed in rough terrain near Lake Okeechobee have been identified, officials said Saturday.

The two victims, Richard Preiser, 72, and Thomas Ralph Stout, 65, were both from Delray Beach, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the helicopter crashed Friday afternoon in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area and took more than four hours to locate.

Deputies from the agency's wildlife unit reached the wreckage and confirmed both onboard had died.

The wreckage was secured overnight by PBSO and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, which was difficult to get to without specialized vehicles, according to PBSO. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

1 comment:

  1. there are many former military aviators who have flight experience with the Hughes Model 369, developed as a prototype for the U.S. Army in the early 1960s. The Hughes 369 was re-designated the OH-6A "Cayuse" by the U.S. Army and flown extensively in SE Asia and Europe. This one is reportedly Ex Royal Danish Air Force H-203.