Early Sunday morning, around 5"30am September 21st, a Robinson R44 helicopter owned by Midwestern Air Services, Inc. of Kenosha, WI crashed. Midwestern is a charter and flight training services operator. A search of records for Kenosha did not find any record for Midwestern Air Services, Inc., leading me to believe that this was a one-man show.
The weather at the time of the accident was reported to be 3/4 mile visibility in fog, and witnesses stated that the engine was running rough just before the helicopter crashed into a house, killing both occupants of the helicopter but not injuring anyone in the house or on the ground.
According to a neighbor across the street from the crash site the helicopter's engine appeared to be at full power but sputtering real bad. After the crash the neighbor observed the bodies of the occupants of the helicopter on the ground beside the burning engine.
What can we learn from this accident? It seems every time we get an eye witness account of an aircraft accident they always state that the engine was running "rough" or "sputtering" just before the accident, and that they heard a loud "boom". Obviously the "boom" is the crash, but I wonder why they always feel the engines are not running properly. Rarely do I read an accident report where engine problems are the cause, although heavy moisture in fog could create some additional problems with, for example, the fuel. Or in the case of the B-2 accident in Guam with the pitot static system.
We will have to wait some time until we know the actual cause of the accident, but once again we are reminded that those who fly aerial machines must always be cognizant of the dangers inherent in aviation.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth
with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been
and there you will long to return. -- Leonardo da Vinci