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UH1-B Fatal West Virginia 6/22

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UH1-B Fatal West Virginia 6/22

Old 23rd Jun 2022, 00:55
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UH1-B Fatal West Virginia 6/22

6 dead in southern W.Va. helicopter crash (wsaz.com)

6 dead in southern W.Va. helicopter crash

LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Ray Bryant, the Chief of Operations for the Logan Emergency Management Authority, confirms six people have died in a helicopter crash Wednesday evening.

The identities of the victims haven’t been confirmed, but Bryant says the passengers were not local.

He says the helicopter was a Vietnam-era Huey based out of the Logan airport and was used for tourism flights.

Bryant says at this time it’s not confirmed exactly what went wrong during the flight. The helicopter crashed onto state Route 17 along Blair Mountain. Bryant says it was on fire when crews arrived at the scene, and firefighters put the fire out.

FAA officials report the Bell UH-1B model went down near state Route 17. That’s in the Kelly Mountain area.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Department had confirmed a crash earlier. According to the Logan County Office of Emergency Management, state Route 17 is closed in that area. There is no word on when it will reopen.

The FAA reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in charge of the crash investigation. Online resources show that the Bell UH-1B helicopter is nicknamed the “Huey” and was extensively used during military operations, including in the Vietnam War.

Additional details are unavailable, but we have crews at the scene.
The road is expected to remain closed for at least 24 hours.

Bryant says one of the owners of the helicopter showed up at the scene after the crash.

The National Highway Safety and Transportation Board and FAA are scene.
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Old 23rd Jun 2022, 13:48
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Another news article which references a Witness statement in addition to the information posted by Havoc.

Very sad day!

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Old 23rd Jun 2022, 23:16
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That is very sad news, kindest thoughts with family & loved ones
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 00:52
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From Avweb
An ex-military Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter crashed yesterday evening (June 22) by a rural roadside near its home base at Logan County Airport (code 6L4) in West Virginia. All six on board were killed. Few details are available, but local law enforcement reported that the cockpit and cabin were consumed by post-crash fire.According to FAA records, the helicopter, N98F, is registered to a local cardiologist. It was operated by maintenance provider Marpat Aviation based at Logan County Airport. The veteran helicopter was participating in this week’s 7th Annual Huey Reunion, and the Marpat website offered 30-minute rides, including the chance to operate the controls, for fuel donations. 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.”
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Old 25th Jun 2022, 17:44
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Thanks for that, Megan. Such a tragic end for such a distinguished vintage warbird. Best condolences to all.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 00:26
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Names of the Victims.....


Local TV segment about Sandhoff.

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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 15:30
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Don't know how credible this link is but an interesting if depressing view of the accident and operator

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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 15:56
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Originally Posted by Fargo Boyle View Post
Don't know how credible this link is but an interesting if depressing view of the accident and operator

No big surprises there! Cause or MO
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 18:00
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Just missing the Stetsons and spurs..........I think the cardiologist owner is about to get his ass sued off.
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 18:01
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So many red flags on this one. It will undoubtedly keep the lawyers busy for years and perhaps rightfully so for a change. I wonder if you walked up and said I'd like a ride but really can't make a "donation" if you would have gotten off the ground. That the FAA says they had no idea these perople were doing this for 7 years or so is a little hard to take. I wonder if that statement would stand up in court under oath. They may as well have said " well, I guess we weren't doing our job of promoting safe civil aviation for some time now".
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 18:30
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Sometimes 'light-touch' regulation really doesn't work.
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 18:44
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FAA has been under resourced for many years. I am sure there were lots of people at the airport who knew what was going on, anyone of whom could have phoned the FSDO. The aviation community has to take responsibility for reporting something so obviously haywire. Sadly rogue operators like this are putting the entire historic aircraft operating policy framework under intense scrutiny. The easy thing for the FAA to do is just shut everyone down. If that happens don't just blame the regulator, everyone who kept silent when they knew things were going off the rail owns a piece of it too....
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 19:21
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So....I am supposed to believe the FAA FSDO in Charleston WV.....about 60 miles from Logan WV where this helicopter was based...had no idea that Helicopter Operation existed, that the FAA did not know they were giving rides, and that the operation did not have ANY authorization to conduct the operations it was doing.....did I get that right?

Information guides for Logan Airport show it is owned and operated by the County Government and has six airplanes and two helicopters based there.

Somehow I have my doubts as to the comments being offered by the Feds as to their complete lack of knowledge of that operation.....but I suppose throwing out an excuse of we are understaffed is something bureaucrats would offer as an excuse for gross negligence and dereliction of duty.

MarPat was not carrying out its operation in secret or behind closed doors....and had been in operation for up to Seven Years and had for sure conducted the same kind of "Veterans Reunion" on four previous years with reports of that on local news and in local newspapers.

Yet....the FAA never heard of them.....really?

Did the County's Airport Manager have no clue they were in violation of FAA Regulations?

I have little trust in government as it is....but sometimes you really must take a step back and ask yourself just how incompetent can government be?

Does the FSDO get aircraft registration data from FAA HQ for their area of responsibility?

Does the Airworthiness Inspector for the FSDO get a list of Air Worthiness Certificates?

Do the FAA Airport Certification Inspectors document what aircraft are based at the airports they inspect...what operations are present?

Who tracks Airport Operational Data...flights to and from the Airport?

Did the County Airport Authority require Insurance Information for the MarPat Operation?

There is far more to this story than what is in that video and news reports so far.

As to the comment about "closing them all down" that is not a very wise suggestion as most are well run, have excellent maintenance, are use only highly qualified pilots and mechanics (engineers for you who use that term for knuckle skinners).

What is being reported is very troubling for sure....and does not appear to be the kind of warbird operation we wish to see operating.

But....let's focus upon this one and not paint everyone else with the same brush.

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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 19:54
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A typical flight operations inspector will probably have 30 + commercial operator certificates he is responsible for many may not even be in the same state. For example the South Carolina FSDO looks after many Alaska 135 operators. They spend their time pushing paper related to those certificates and travel away form the office to for example ramp aircraft, takes away them for that and so is discouraged. They are also caught in a bind where when they do show up at airports they are the big bad feds picking on people not to mention the shi*t storm they would receive if they routinely tracked "flights to and from the airport".

There is a problem with
But....let's focus upon this one and not paint everyone else with the same brush.
If the warbird community does not police itself than the FAA is going to do it for them and they are not going to like it. A few more of these operators that are colouring way outside the lines and then kill paying passengers and the program will be shut down. This needs to be a wake up call for everyone. 20 years ago there was a spate of civil formation flying accidents . The FAA told the warbird type clubs to sort it out or they were going to step in. In response FAST a non profit was set up to provide standardization, document training and experience requirements, provide check rides and encourage safe formation flying. The result was a dramatic drop in incidents and accidents and no FAA direct involvement. More government is not the solution, the warbird community is where the solution should come from. It is time for them to step up and stamp out operators like MARPAT
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 20:11
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More government is not the solution, the warbird community is where the solution should come from. It is time for them to step up and stamp out operators like MARPAT
That we can fully agree upon.

Years back we saw a similar problem with Huey's in the Helicopter Logging Industry and the weak enforcement effort re bogus parts and other deadly sins.....sadly....far too many wrote themselves off along with the helicopters.

But then too....there is the sad history of the US EMS Helicopter Industry.

Not to over look the Sight Seeing segment of the Industry.

What we see are the poisoned football getting passed along to another league of teams.....who shall be next after the Helicopter Warbird bunch?
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Old 3rd Jul 2022, 20:35
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So self policing clearly does not work - people want to make money and unless there is sufficient 'Fed' policing to make sure rules are followed, it seems clear that the wild west will continue to operate in such areas of aviation.

You can't have it both ways - if you want light touch federal control then someone, somewhere needs to keep things safe and legal - who is going to step up to the mark?
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Old 4th Jul 2022, 17:17
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All the rules in the world count for nothing if pilots and operators have a no sense of integrity or ethical conduct. The military beat it into to you from day one, but when you "pay to play" there's no easy way to assess whether someone has the moral fiber to be a responsible aviator. Thankfully, the majority of pilots seem to understand what is required, it's cases like this that remind you there are some terrible exceptions.
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Old 5th Jul 2022, 01:52
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I find it quite incredible for the FAA to claim they have no knowledge of Marpat and their operations, following their previous acrimonious engagements. Alouette Helicopters Declared Illegal Immigrants By The Faa
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Old 5th Jul 2022, 02:23
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The FAA is understaffed right now, I have been waiting 3 years for my local office to approve some amendments to manuals. I had a visit from our FAA maintenance inspector about 3 months ago...he has been with the FAA for less than a year and had never even touched a helicopter in his life....

BTW, he is the FAA maintenance inspector for all helicopter companies in our area and provides the FAA oversight for about 8 companies that I know of flying between 50 to 70 helicopters....

The Operations inspector for the same helicopter companies is a former Delta Airlines pilot who has never flown a helicopter.

Therefore I can see how this can happen....

Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
I find it quite incredible for the FAA to claim they have no knowledge of Marpat and their operations,
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Old 5th Jul 2022, 11:12
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Private pilots do this a lot. Not everyone, but a lot. You hear stories of someone taking aerial pictures of their home and the guy flew them over it for a cost of…, or something like that.
This HUEY flight is a similar situation to the illegal use of private pilots moving very expensive football players around - only highlighted by a crash off the island of Jersey, UK.
I’m quite sure this situation isn’t a rarity and also that authorities, world-wide, know it’s being done but can’t dig the operations out or have proof of payment - especially if the money goes through the owner’s v.large accounts and not through the operation itself. Controversially, I believe the authorities have no real ‘drive’ to finding illegal activities as long as the revenue is pouring in…a ‘don’t ask’ policy.
R.I.P. to the victims.
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