NTSB: Helicopter pilot in crash not certified
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
A preliminary report issued late last week by the National Transportation Safety Board noted the pilot of the helicopter that crashed north of Noxen on July 27 was not certified to fly using only on-board instruments.
And the report also noted there was no record that the pilot obtained a preflight weather briefing before departure from Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott, N.Y., bound for Jake Arner Memorial Airport in Lehighton.
The report also noted that no flight plan had been filed.
The NTSB report noted that the pilot told air traffic conrollers in Wilkes-Barre that the helicopter was flying using instruments rather than visual indicators and asked to be directed toward the nearest airport.
The controller sent directions to Skyhaven, south of Tunkhannock, but the pilot reported difficulty maintaining control of the aircraft.
Soonafter, there were no further recorded communications from the pilot.
The helicopter was located around 1:45 p.m. the next day.
Wyoming County Coroner Tom Kukuchka identified the victims as: Bernard Michael Kelly, 58, of Ellicott City, Md.; his daughter, Leanna Mee Kelly, 27, of Savage, Md.; David Ernest Jenny Jr., 31, of Towson, Md.; Carl Robert Woodland, 29, of Lovettsville, Va.; and his son, Noah Robert McKain Woodland, 3, of Leesburg, Va.
Kukuchka said Jenny was the pilot and was teaching Carl Woodland how to fly, although it was unclear who was flying at the time the helicopter crashed in Noxen near the BP Mehoopany Wind Farm.