Sunday, June 26, 2022

Bell UH-1B Iroquois, N98F: Fatal accident occurred June 22, 2022 in Logan County, West Virginia

National Transportation Safety Board accident number: ERA22FA279 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charleston, West Virginia

Rotorcraft crashed under unknown circumstances on Blair Mountain Highway while reportedly giving air tours. Helicopter consumed by fire. 

MARPAT Aviation

A team of NTSB aviation safety investigators arrived in Logan, West Virginia, on the afternoon of June 23, 2022, to begin the investigation into the June 22 crash of a Bell UH-1B helicopter there. The three passengers, the pilot and the two pilot-rated passengers were fatally injured in the accident.

The local flight was associated with an annual event called the Huey Reunion in which helicopter rides were offered by the organizer, MARPAT Aviation. The accident flight departed Logan County Airport and crashed on a rural road about 3.7 miles northeast of the airport at about 4:57 pm EDT. Much of the wreckage was consumed in a postcrash fire.

The accident flight was the last planned flight of the day.  The route for that flight was different from the tour paths that had been flown previously that day.

Over the next several days, investigators will be documenting the accident site, the helicopter, and any perishable evidence that could be relevant to the investigation.

The helicopter was not equipped, nor was it required to be, with either a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder.

The helicopter will be recovered from the accident site on June 24 and will be transported to a secure location for further examination.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Bell Textron and Ozark Aeroworks are parties to the investigation and will provide relevant technical and other information as requested by NTSB investigators.

Anyone who witnessed the accident or who has information that may be relevant to the investigation should contact the NTSB by email at

The team is expected to complete its on scene work in 5-7 days.

A preliminary report containing the factual information developed during the on-scene phase of the investigation is expected within about 15 calendar days following the accident; it will be posted on the NTSB website and can be accessed through the CAROL database:

Additional investigative updates may be provided as circumstances warrant.

Date: 22-JUN-22
Time: 20:57:00Z
Regis#: N98F
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: UH1B
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 6
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 5 fatal
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Aircraft Missing: No

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.


  1. 4 days later another UH-1B suffered a fatal crash.

  2. In reference to the Alaska accident reported today, it was listed as a 204B. While essentially the same fuselage, the commercial 204B utilized the 48' rotor system of the UH-1D while a military UH-1B had a 44' rotor system. Due to STC's and such, the T-53 engine models and thus the available horsepower (though main transmission limited) may have been different. Not trying to nit pick Raffles, just in case it either accident turns out to be rotor system related.

  3. Agreed no info?? May be cause of so much of the wreckage consumed by fire??

    1. NTSB may be proceeding low-key to avoid stoking premature media hype given that the Huey-reunion event advertised that riders could take the right seat and fly N98F even though the rider is not a pilot. A media pile-on drawing comparison of this warbird experience accident to the Connecticut B17 crash is a possible consequence, even if undeserved.

      The N98F accident wasn't necessarily due to a rider piloting, but airmen registry entries for the two aboard mentioned as being pilot-rated passengers indicate involvement with rotorcraft.

      Airmen registry shows the man from Austin who perished has PP ASEL, Rotorcraft Helicopter and Gyroplane with a 6/2021 second class medical, while the man from Durham has CP Rotorcraft Helicopter, Instrument Helicopter with a 1996 Second class medical and no basicmed. A man from Franklin presumably was the PIC, with CP ASEL, AMEL, IA, Rotorcraft Helicopter, Instructor ASEL and Ground with 2/2022 second class medical.

      It will be informative to learn whether physically moving a rider-pilot into the seat was only done on the ground or if in-flight swaps were performed when more than one rider was to be seated during a flight. The NYC crash where a harness pulled the fuel lever closed comes to mind - upsets are possible when moving about.

    2. News reports on Austin man and Franklin man suggest that the man from Austin operated the reunion flights.

    3. People were not changing seats while in flight. Having visited the crash site I will be surprised if the NTSB does not publish a probable cause soon.

  4. AVweb "Mike Holbrook, owner of Marpat, declined to comment to AVweb, referring questions to the NTSB. A woman who witnessed the crash told television reporters she saw what she presumed to be fuel streaming from the cabin and tried to approach the burning helicopter to help, but the intense heat forced her to retreat.
    According to the Marpat website description, the UH-1B was likely the oldest Huey still flying, the 488th of more than 10,000 built. It was manufactured in 1962, even before the original military designation changed from HU-1 (thus, the “Huey” nickname) to UH-1 when the 932nd was delivered from the factory.
    N89F, then bearing the military serial number 62-01968, served in Vinh Long, Vietnam, with the 114th Assault Helicopter Company, the “Knights of the Sky,” and bore the nose-art “Miss Fit.” Its wartime duties included gunship, troop carrier and medevac service. After being returned to the U.S. in 1971, it subsequently served in the National Guard before working as an agricultural aircraft, firefighter and before the cameras of several feature films, including “Die Hard,” “The Rock” and “Broken Arrow.” RIP...

  5. Nice video of N98F conducting one of these rides at Logan in 2021:

  6. why are these knuckleheads flying the oldest Hueys made (no short-bed UH-1 was made after 1967 i believe) as if it's a new craft! Was this bird even upgraded, refurbished, etc? Thats a 60-year old airframe. Bad judgment :/

    1. No it was completely original from the Vietnam war. I think the oil was checked in 72 and again in 93, with filter changed at the latter of course.

    2. Watched the Marpart videos. Sixty years of use and abuse. As a former medic/crew chief I wouldn't have climbed in that old warbird on a bet.

      Twenty thousand parts moving in twenty thousand different directions at the same time overs a sixty-year period = inevitable disaster.

  7. Preliminary report suggests a functioning Huey, flown into wires:

    "The main wreckage was 542 ft past a utility cable that crossed about 180 ft above the road. Two utility cables were fractured consistent with tensile overload and were displaced toward the main wreckage near the roadside at 220 ft and 397 ft from the remaining utility cable. All major components of the helicopter were located in the vicinity of the accident site."

  8. In the above video which is probably very recent there is no wire strike kit fitted to this chopper and the NTSB preliminary report says "The main wreckage was 542 ft past a utility cable that crossed about 180 ft above the road. Two utility cables were fractured consistent with tensile overload and were displaced toward the main wreckage near the roadside at 220 ft and 397 ft from the remaining utility cable.". This might offer a clue as to what happened.

  9. In the above video (2021) there is no wire strike kit fitted to the chopper and the NTSB preliminary report says "The main wreckage was 542 ft past a utility cable that crossed about 180 ft above the road. Two utility cables were fractured consistent with tensile overload and were displaced toward the main wreckage near the roadside at 220 ft and 397 ft from the remaining utility cable.". Herein lies a clue.

  10. From the NTSB preliminary report:

    "Visual examination of the power turbine blades through the engine exhaust revealed that two non-consecutive blades were fractured near their roots and not present. A single power turbine blade of full length was present between the two missing blade locations. There was evidence of tip rubbing between the power turbine blades and the engine case."

    Sounds like probable engine failure resulting in a forced landing in an inhospitable location. This old bird likely had a lot of abuseful hours on that old T53 engine.

    1. Maybe engine failure resulting in descent into powerlines?