2nd Dec 2003, 07:06
Fort Worth Star Telegram Helicopter crashes south of Galveston, killing pilot
LAFAYETTE, La. - A helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico Monday, killing the pilot, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard learned of the crash about 8:45 a.m. and sent a helicopter from Houston and a jet from Corpus Christi, Texas, to search for the wreckage and rescue the pilot, Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said.
The wreckage and the pilot's body were discovered about four hours later, 70 miles southwest of Galveston, Texas, Lafayette-based Petroleum Helicopters Inc. said.
The pilot's name was not immediately released. There were no passengers.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation of the cause of the crash, the company said.
Petroleum Helicopters is a major source of transportation for companies involved in the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf.
Bell 407 N457PH
In lease block High Island 573.
2nd Dec 2003, 09:04
Can confirm it was a 407. Not sure on tail no.
Another sad day in a bad year for the GoM crews.
2nd Dec 2003, 15:17
This morning's Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports
Helicopter crash kills PHI pilot
LAFAYETTE — A Petroleum Helicopters Inc. aircraft crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off of the Texas coast Monday morning, killing the pilot.
Wreckage from the Bell 407 was found about 70 miles southwest of Galveston, according to a brief statement issued by the company late Monday.
The pilot, who was the only person aboard, was not identified, pending notification of next of kin.
“A distress call was received from the aircraft at 8:21 a.m., and PHI immediately launched a search, which was joined by the Coast Guard,” according to the statement released by Ed Gatza, field human relations manager for PHI.
Coast Guard aircraft from Houston and Corpus Christi responded to the call.
Gatza said that the aircraft wreckage and pilot’s body were recovered at 1 p.m.
Chief Petty Officer Jeff Murphy of the 8th District Coast Guard said that the aircraft apparently went down about 60 miles south of Sabine, Texas, when the helicopter was returning from High Island Block 573.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation into the cause of the crash, which is the fourth fatal helicopter incident in the Gulf this year.
According to NTSB reports:
Three people were killed when a Bell 206-L-3 operated by PHI crashed Oct. 10 while maneuvering near a platform at West Cameron 509.
Three died when a Bell 206-L-3 operated by PHI struck a platform and fell into the Gulf while taking off from Eugene Island 276 on Aug. 13.
One person was killed when the rotor from a Bell 407 operated by PHI struck a passenger during a refueling operation at High Island 44.
One person died when a Bell 206-L-1 operated by Air Logistics Inc. struck a platform 14 miles north of Venice.
Old Man Rotor
2nd Dec 2003, 21:05
I will be a little more blunt.
Firstly its a sad shame that we loose yet another aviator.
The common thread is single pilot crews in a demanding environment....in sub standard helicopters.
When will we ever learn.
Oil companies don't care as its a contractor problem, the Companies don't care because their big enough and insured, and the Insurance Companies don't care because the premiums of all the others more than make up for the odd single here and there.
And his colleagues will soon forget.
But his family, his wife, his son and his daughter will never ever forget him.
I vow to never ever visit the GOM again.
Over to you Sassless!
2nd Dec 2003, 21:21
According to sources, Pilot put out a distress call but then could not be contacted.
4th Dec 2003, 14:48
The FAA preliminary report is here. (http://www2.faa.gov/avr/aai/J_1202_N.txt)
5th Dec 2003, 05:21
The pilot was James D. Barry from College Station, Texas.
Our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
5th Dec 2003, 06:37
The High Island area is not southwest of Galveston. It's southeast. Newspaper reports are often incorrect, and the FAA website is wrong just about as often. I'll wait for the NTSB report.