Joined: Jun 30, 2006 Posts: 30 Location: Barnsley (South Yorkshire)
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:19 pm Post subject: Helicopter crash near Blackpool
Extract from local news report...
TWO men killed when their helicopter crashed in Over Wyre were today named by police.
The news came as air accident investigators began the task of discovering what caused the tragedy.
The two men on board were pilot Steven Edward Lewis, 38, from Rainhill, Liverpool, and passenger Phillip Charles Grey, 45, of Mawdesley, near Ormskirk.
They were on a training flight from Blackpool Airport when their aircraft mysteriously went down yesterday lunchtime.
A major rescue operation was launched when the pilot of the small two-seater aircraft made a may-day call as he and his student flew over Poulton.
Forty minutes later the wrecked helicopter was found crashed on Barnaby's Sands, near Stalmine.
Mr Lewis and Mr Grey died at the scene.
As accident investigators sifted through the wreckage, tributes were paid to the victims.
A spokesman from Ventbrook Air Ltd, a helicopter training school in Blackpool, said: "We don't know too much about the accident at the moment, the pilot was a really nice man and a good friend of mine, I knew him well.
"He was an experienced pilot and was flying with a student."
He added: "We can confirm that the helicopter that went down was not one from Ventbrook."
Tributes have also been left on internet forums used by pilots, many stating aircraft involved was a Schweizer 300, although this has not been confirmed by police.
One poster said: "What a terrible tragedy. The instructor involved was a fantastic person, great instructor and a good friend. I've never met anyone who could throw out so many jokes in such a short amount of time.
"I spoke to him just a few minutes before he took off and as ever his brilliant personality was beaming down the phone. I did not know his student but my thoughts are with all the people they have left behind."
Blackpool Airport received the may-day call from the pilot at 12.09pm, reporting engine problems.
Supt Richard Spedding of Lancashire Police confirmed: "As soon as we got that call we initiated a search operation involving our own helicopter and vehicles."
"The crash site was discovered at 12.50pm. There was no indication within the call as to what went wrong on what appeared a perfect day for flying.
"Although it was damaged the helicopter had come down intact because it had been flying low before it hit the river bank.
"It was a training flight from a local hangar, not too far away from here and this was in their flight path."
Fleetwood Lifeboat was called out amid fears the helicopter might have crashed in the river, but the aircraft had actually crashed on the land, near the water's edge.
Paul Ashworth, coxwain of the Fleetwood lifeboat, said: "We were paged by the Coastguard and sent out two lifeboats to the scene.
"The in-shore lifeboat went ahead and established the helicopter had crashed on land, rather than in the water.
"A couple of our crew saw the wreckage and realised nobody made it out. So we were stood down and returned to base."
The North West Air Ambulance was also called to the scene, but was also stood down on arrival at the crash site.
Barnaby's Sands, which is a nature reserve, is managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
It is one of the last extensive areas of un-grazed salt marsh on the Lancashire coast and is popular with birdwatchers.
Merged post _________________ PPL(H) - R22, R44...
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum