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Jet Ranger crash at Biggin - 2 dead

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Jet Ranger crash at Biggin - 2 dead

Old 17th Jan 2003, 16:50
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Jet Ranger crash at Biggin - 2 dead

Smoketoomuch is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2003, 17:04
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I've just logged on in response to a call from a friend who had heard on the grapevine of this crash and was ringing round all her helicoptering friends, checking we were OK.

I was hoping it was a mistake, but the BBC reports seem to confirm the worst. My sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased.
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Old 17th Jan 2003, 21:01
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Thumbs down Two die in UK helicopter crash

Taken from the Irish Independent...

19:26 Friday January 17th 2003

Two people have been killed in a helicopter crash in Kent. The private helicopter crashed shortly after take-off. The pilot and passenger were killed when the helicopter came down in open land near the village of Cudham in Kent. The Bell 206 Jet Ranger took off from Biggin Hill airfield and was heading for Southend in Essex. One witness said: "There were a great deal of emergency services heading to the scene and I saw the Virgin air ambulance in the air. I could not see any fire but it was clearly a major incident."
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Old 17th Jan 2003, 21:51
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Taken from Sky News


A helicopter pilot was hailed a hero after swerving his stricken craft away from houses before it plunged to the ground, killing him and his passenger.

The two men, believed to be father and son, were killed when the private helicopter crashed into a field shortly after take-off, police said.

The five-seater Bell 206 Jet Ranger, described by aviation experts as a reliable and well-proven aircraft, experienced problems near the village of Cudham, south London.

It hurtled to earth before erupting into a ball of flames.

'Swerved round houses'

Villagers later praised the pilot for avoiding hitting any houses and putting more people in danger.

A 20-year-old man witnessed the crash from local pub The Blacksmiths Arms.

"The person that was flying, swerved round all the houses and hit a field," he said.

"He was trying to crash land somewhere. He missed my house and my friend's house within feet and hit the field.

'He tried his best'

"God rest his soul, he tried his best."

Another villager, 36, said: "It deserves to be reported that the person obviously tried very hard to miss people's houses and the residential part of the village."

The pair had flown from Biggin Hill Airfield and were on their way to Southend when tragedy struck.

An investigation has been opened into the crash.
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Old 17th Jan 2003, 22:32
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So much sadness for everyone.

I fly from Biggin as a student, I had a phone call from my Father to check I was ok when it first hit the local news and details were less available, it made the tragedy really hit home, my mother was in tears in the background. Strange feelings when you are pleased to hear that it wasnt a Biggin Hill helicopter because then people you know are more than likely not involved, then you feel guilty about those feelings, I am so sorry for the people involved.
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Old 18th Jan 2003, 12:38
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Very sad news and sympathies to the families. As ever, bad for the industry too. Not saying it is necessarily relevant, but for those who might be wondering I gather the weather at Biggin 5 mins before the reported crash time was vis 2500m in rain, scattered 500ft, broken 700ft. Wind 190/12, gusting 26. Unsure of precise accident site at Cudham, 2 miles south east, but could be 100 - 200ft higher than Biggin.
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Old 18th Jan 2003, 14:52
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I, like most here will be, wondered what the cause was. My first thought too was to wonder what the weather was like, thinking what it was like here.

BUT... decided that to suggest the cause maybe linked to weather wood be to induce speculation without knowing any details. Something that has been discussed many times before on PPRuNe.

PLEASE wait for the AAIB report before discussing the causes.

Condolences to the family and friends of our fellow pilots.
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Old 18th Jan 2003, 15:36
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Pilotwolf, as you say many will have wondered what the wx was like. Rotorspeed has given some factual information and specifically noted that the wx & terrain info he gave may not be relavent to the accident. Compared that to you average press report.....
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Old 18th Jan 2003, 17:58
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Telegraph today mentioned the 206 was owned by Direct Helicopters from Southend. Does anyone know if it was HRAY?
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Old 18th Jan 2003, 19:20
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My deepest condolences....
Helicopter crash father and son named (PA)
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Old 19th Jan 2003, 00:02
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Helicopter Pilots Get It Up Quicker
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With apologies to the legal types who frequent this form, but:

Not saying it is necessarily relevant, but for those who might be wondering
Is like saying "I wouldn't suggest it is relevant but the accused is well know to the local police"...

Imagine: "The poor guy had his 15 yr old son with him who had a great interest in learning to fly", said a source. How many woulod immediate jump to the conclusion that maybe his son was attempting to fly the a/c?

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Old 19th Jan 2003, 11:07
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Well the news article from a non-flying bystander said the engine sounded bad and the rotor seemed slow. Think maybe that would be the first place to look...........
Like in Engine Failure and not catching it in time.......
Another sad day in the Helicopter world........
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Old 20th Jan 2003, 15:17
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not Direct Helicopters

G-BTFY Bell 206B-3 1714 Biggin Hill Helicopters
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Old 21st Jan 2003, 08:31
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You are incorrect.

This aircraft USED to be owned by Biggin Hill Helicopters and was sold to a private owner some time ago. It was leased to Direct Helicopters at Southend.

The aircraft was positioning back to Southend from Biggin.
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Old 21st Jan 2003, 13:44
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ok Woss, sorry, that change of ownership has happened recently then
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 01:09
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Spooky coincidence, G-BTFY was featured in A Chopper Is Born on Discovery as a visiting guest, with owner( ?) Mike Swuboda. I would have to assume he owned it and leased it to Direct Helicopters.
It certainly didn't look too shabby in a royal blue paintjob. Highly shiny

Last edited by handyandyuk; 22nd Jan 2003 at 14:51.
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 10:48
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Always sad to hear of the demise of a faithful steed.

I flew a lot of hours in the original G-BTFY back in the mid-90s, mainly pleasure flying. She was a good old ship despite her 18,000+ airframe time, ex-Edwards in the US.

She went down to Africa in I think 96 as part of the Kenya Rally support with Ford Motor Co. and never came back. Apparantly she was bought by an operator down there who wanted all the dynamic components to put in one of their time-exd 206s'. The shell was by now in need of a bathtub, I think, and considering the high airframe hours she was put out to pasture.

Last time we saw her she was a sad empty shell sat in the South African sunshine.

I guess the Discovery program must have charted her resurrection into G-BTFY Mk II, as I had heard that she had been used to re-shell another 206.

RIP Old Girl.

Edited for shocking spelling
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Old 23rd Jan 2003, 00:00
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I agree. Sad that two people lost their lives, but I was also sad to read of the demise of 'Fox Yankee'. It was the first JetRanger I flew, and the one in which I did my 206 rating, so I always retained an affection for it.
Like you, I'm puzzled about what happened to it after it went to Africa.
I know it was repossessed by a finance company when NH collapsed and I know it was sold to MT/Heli-Jet at a very low price as being in need of a new tub. MT's engineer said it did. (Very impressive of him to spot that, wasn't it?) As I recall, the price only just covered the outstanding finance.
That's the background to the 'in need of a new tub' aspect. It went to Africa shortly after, and I also thought it had stayed there.

(Just in case anyone misunderstands, I had no professional involvement in any of the transactions I've mentioned.)
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2003, 10:37
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Sounds like yet another very good deal by the well-known Yorkshire car-dealer who "acquired" Northern Helis. Sorry Steve I forgot, not car-dealer, the Coney Park division of the worldwide international Heli-Jet "Group".
Now what was I saying on the 'Yorkshire training schools' thread?
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Old 23rd Jan 2003, 14:40
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Just heard on BBC Look East that the Pilot has been named;

Paul Kennedy.

RIP, Paul & your Son.

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