By MATTHEW PLEASANT/Staff Writer Published: Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 6:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 7:25 p.m.
HOUMA – Seven people died in a helicopter crash this afternoon in a marshy area near Bayou Penchant in western Terrebonne Parish, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The helicopter, owned by the Lafayette-based Petroleum Helicopters Inc., was carrying nine passengers. One was sent to Terrebonne General Medical Center and another remains missing. The helicopter’s operator sent a distress signal at 3 p.m., said Jaclyn Young, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. The U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in Virgina picked up the signal and alerted the Coast Guard station in New Orleans, she said. Officials aren’t yet sure what caused the crash. The Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol is searching waters and marsh near Bayou Penchant, in the far western end of the parish and a Coast Guard helicopter is assisting as well. Officers are also using an airboat to aid their search, said Maj. Thomas Odom, water patrol commander. Allen Boudreax Sr. of Franklinton said he was notified by PHI that his son, 23-year-old Allen Jr., was on board the helicopter when it went down. He had not been advised of his son's status, however. Boudreaux Jr. is a welder and fitter for Dynamic Industries, and was en route to a job site when the wreck occurred, his father said.
Todays observations at Houma. 04 18:50 SE 7 7.00 Overcast OVC010 70 NA 30.10 NA 04 17:50 SE 7 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN017 72 NA 30.09 NA 04 16:55 SE 9 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN025 75 NA 30.07 NA 04 13:50 SE 12 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN025 75 NA 30.06 NA 04 12:50 SE 12 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN020 73 NA 30.07 NA 04 11:50 SE 12 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN020 68 NA 30.09 NA 04 10:50 SE 12 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN025 68 NA 30.10 NA 04 09:50 SE 7 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN050 68 NA 30.11 NA 04 08:50 SE 9 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN050 66 NA 30.09 NA 04 07:50 SE 5 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN020 64 NA 30.07 NA 04 05:50 S 5 7.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN020 63 NA 30.02 NA
Eight people died and another was injured when a helicopter bound for an offshore oil platform crashed Sunday afternoon in Louisiana's marshlands about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. The helicopter, operated by PHI Inc., crashed about 3:30 p.m. shortly after taking off from PHI's base in Amelia, said Richard Rovinelli, a spokesman for the company. The cause of the crash isn't clear. Rovinelli did not know the type of helicopter or its exact destination.
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N Damage: Unknown
LOCATION City: AMELIA State: LA Country: US
DESCRIPTION N748P, A SIKORSKY S-76C ROTORCRAFT WHILE ENROUTE TO OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORM, THERE WERE 9 PERSONS ON BOARD, 8 WERE FATALLY INJURED, AND ONE SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES, 10 MILES FROM AMELIA, LA
The FAA preliminary reports are frequently gibberish. I've seen the wrong type aircraft remain there for weeks, as well as many other types of errors. If you want accuracy, you need to read the NTSB reports.
The spokesman in which you are referring is the Chief Admin. Officer, not a pilot. He is in charge of running the business, under Mr. Al of course, so why he is speaking on behalf of the pilots is beyond me. I would rather here from the DO or the CP, they have a better understanding of what is going on and the background to support it. God Bless those who left and best wishes to PHI.
From the picture of the CG it looks like it was quite a steep vertical fall, since the rests of the helicopter do not seem to be spread along a path in the marsh but they're quite limited to the crash spot...I wonder what happened....May your souls rest in peace fellows aviators....