On June 19, 2005, about 0745 eastern daylight time, an homebuilt Load Runner 2000 helicopter, N200LR, was destroyed when it impacted trees near Hammonton, New Jersey. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight between a private property in Elmer, New Jersey, and Hammonton Municipal Airport (N81), Hammonton, New Jersey. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, family members reported that the pilot and passenger were proceeding to Hammonton for fuel. The helicopter took off about 0720, and about 1100, the family contacted the airport and discovered that the helicopter never arrived. A search was subsequently initiated by state and local authorities, and the wreckage was found on June 21, 2005.
Two FAA inspectors conducted an on-scene examination of the wreckage. According to one of the inspectors, the wreckage was located in a wooded area, about 200 yards east of the Atlantic City Expressway, near mile marker 24.9. The wreckage was "mostly intact and contained within the immediate crash scene." Nearby treetops were sheared, and the main rotor blades were fractured into three, approximately 5-foot sections.
The helicopter had come to rest on its left side, and there was an impact mark on an 18-inch diameter tree, about 55 inches off the ground, near the helicopter's nose.
"The scene had no strong odor of jet fuel." In addition, there was no fuel in the fuel tank, and no fuel in the fuel filter or fuel lines, but some fuel and dirt in the fuel filter bowl.
The fuel shut-off valve was found in the open position, and the battery master switch was off.
Further FAA investigation revealed that the helicopter had not flown from August 16, 2003, until June 10, 2005. A conditional inspection had been performed on the helicopter, by the pilot/mechanic, on that date. The last known refueling occurred on June 12, 2005, when the pilot topped off the 60-gallon fuel tank with 43 gallons of jet fuel (the helicopter was powered by a turboshaft engine.)
According to the aircraft log book, on June 13, 2005, the helicopter flew for 2.9 hours and made eight landings. On June 17, 2005, the helicopter flew for 0.8 hours and made three landings.
FAA inspectors contacted a representative of the engine manufacturer, who stated that under normal operations and power settings, the engine would have utilized 33.5 gallons per hour of fuel.
The pilot held a private pilot license for rotorcraft-helicopter, which was issued on November 11, 1992. His latest FAA second class medical certificate was issued on October 12, 2004. At the time, he reported 300 hours of flight time. There was no evidence of a biannual flight review.
An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the Medical Examiner, Atlantic County Department of Public Safety, Northfield, New Jersey. Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Weather, reported at an airport about 10 miles to the east, about the time of the accident, included winds from 020 degrees magnetic at 7 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and overcast skies at 7,000 feet.
On August 28, 2005, the wreckage release was provided to the aircraft recovery company.