Three Texas Parks and Wildlife employees died in the accident as they surveyed the landscape for desert bighorn sheep. The pilot, who was a private contractor for the state agency, was taken to El Paso for medical treatment. The victims were named by Texas Parks and Wildlife as Wildlife Biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar
The NTSB tweeted that they were investigating the accident of a Bell 206
The aircraft lost power and struck power lines while apparently making an emergency landing near to the intersection of South Presa and East Southcross street, San Antonio, US-Texas. The aircraft received substantial damage. There were no reports of serious injuries to the occupants. – Photo
Date was recorded as 04-Jun-17 when helicopter wreckage was found, but as reports state the pilot’s family were looking “in the middle of the night” for him, and he was last seen on 03-Jun-17, we believe the accident date would most likely have been 03-Jun-17. NTSB also tweeted on 4th June that they were attending “investigating yesterday’s crash of a Robinson R-44 helicopter in Dimmit, TX”. No details of the situation have been reported, bar that it was working low level checking on cattle.
The accident killed 68-year old Don Oppliger – whos company owns ranches and farms in Texas, New Mexico and Nebraska to support the feeding of 230,000 cattle in six large feedlots. More than 90,000 acres of the roughly 150,000 acres held by the company are in Nebraska, including properties near Paxton, Wallace, Atkinson, Tryon and Johnstown.
During the approach, the helicopter pitched forward, and the pilot moved the cyclic aft to compensate for the forward pitch. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter rolled to the right and entered a spin to the right. The pilot then attempted to land the helicopter, but it impacted terrain and rolled onto its left side. Pilot Ed Faris was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The passenger, 34-year-old Terry Claessen, was treated at the scene.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, commanding general, First Army Division West, released the following statement on Tuesday 24th: “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of four First Army Division West Soldiers as a result of a UH-60L helicopter crash that happened Monday evening sometime after 5:49 p.m. The accident is under investigation and the names of the deceased will be released after the families have been notified. I want to extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to the Families and friends of the Soldiers involved in yesterday’s crash.”
Hard landing after engine failure. Photos suggest tail hit ground in field with metre high grass. Two people were on board, the pilot William Butler of Port Lavaca and Victoria Schultz of Needville – both walked away uninjured
Substantially damaged in heavy landing – photo. Sole occupant pilot Charles Deyhle Jr was reportedly uninjured. Reportedly due to gusty conditions when trying to land on a ground handling trolley
Emergency night landing between two buildings after bird strike while ferrying a patient from Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. A nurse was reported injured by the bird entering the helicopter
Accident on night EMS flight just one block short of its intended landing spot at United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls, inbound from Waurika, OK. Patient (named here as 26-year-old Buddy Rhodes) killed in the accident, and the three crew named here as pilot Zechariah Smith, flight nurse Leslie Stewart and flight paramedic Erasmus J. Vandercolff IV. Post crash fire. Leslie Stewart died from her injuries 5 days later (source). Erasmus J. Vandercolff IV died from his injuries on 22 October (source)
Low level pipeline patrol and “lost power”. Written off. On board were pilot Michael Orlowsky. 48, of West Plains, Missouri; Kevin Douglas Smothers, 44, of Minnesota; and Ronald Justin Dietz, 28, of Sinton. Orlowsky and Smothers were described as being in critical condition with no word on Dietz
Halo Flight attended with a Bell 407
Helicopter owned by Heartland Helicopters but leased out to a third party according to press report
Emergency landing after pilot suspected (wrongly as it happens) an engine fire. Helicopter ended up on its side. 3 POB all injured and to hospital. US Customs & Border Patrol helicopter was reportedly on low level work
Emergency landing after damage to main rotor blades. Helicopter was patrolling very close to the Mexican border when it was reportedly struck by rocks launched from the Mexican side. Safe landing, no injuries
Joshua Fitts, 34, of West Hurricane, Utah, was killed about 12:20 p.m. when the tail rotor of the McDonnell Douglas helicopter crashed after clipping a transmission line pulley, called a sheave
Two workers have fallen to their deaths when a cable suspending them hit a power line they were inspecting – the pair were later reported here as 25-year-old David Edward Oliveira of Turlock, CA and 26-year-old Christoper Geoffrey Breed of Moscow, ID. Helicopter landed safely with no damage
Hard landing on training flight. FAA report gives reg as N223GM which is not a valid registration. N223GM is assumed, based on it being the right helicopter type and registered to a Designated Pilot Examiner who leases 2+ R22s to Alamo Helicopters
Helicopter lost power while working at low level on powerlines for Cross Texas Transmission. Jonathan David Suhr, 23, was suspended 50 ft below the helicopter as part of this work and was certified dead a short time later.