(WBNG Binghamton) There is no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing before flying a helicopter out of Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott. The helicopter crashed near Noxen, Pa. and all five people on board died.
The National Transportation Safety board issued a preliminary report on the July 27 crash of the Robinson R66 helicopter. It was registered to Hampton Roads Charter Service.
The report states the pilot, who is not named, was "non-instrument rated," referring to a qualification to fly only by use of an aircraft's on-board instruments.
The helicopter took off from Tri-Cities Airport at 9:51 p.m. heading to the Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Lehighton, Pa. The pilot requested visual flight rules, the report states.
The helicopter crashed at approximately 10:20 p.m. on privately owned wooded land near Noxen. At the time, Instrument Meteorological Conditions prevailed, which means weather conditions were such that it required the use of on-board instruments to fly. The NTSB report noted heavy fog in the area.
Air traffic control information from Wilkes-Barre showed the pilot advised “we’re inadvertent IMC, reversing ah, can you give us a heading to the nearest airport, please."
The pilot was directed to the Sky Haven Airport in Tunkhannock, Pa. and the pilot replied there was trouble maintaining control and altitude. There were no further communications recorded.
The wreckage was located just before 2 p.m on June 28. The five people who died were Carl Woodland, 29 of Lovettsville, Pa. and his son Noah Woodland, 3. of Leesburg Va.; Bernard Kelly, 58, of Ellicott City, Md.; his daughter, Leanna Kelly, 27, of Savage, Md.; and David Ernest Jenny Jr., 30, of Towson, Md.
The NTSB preliminary report stated the information is subject to change and any errors would be corrected in when the final report is completed.