Aviation News

October 15, 2012

Rescuers Locate Wreckage of Downed Helicopter in Texas

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By: BNO News
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Site of a helicopter crash north of San Antonio, Texas. (Map by NYCAviation/Google Maps)
Site of a helicopter crash north of San Antonio, Texas. (Map by NYCAviation/Google Maps)
Rescue workers on Friday morning discovered the wreckage of a missing helicopter in central Texas, but none of the three people who were on board survived the crash, local and federal officials said. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

The wreckage of the Robinson R-44 single-engine helicopter was discovered by another aircraft just before 8 a.m. local time on Friday in a heavily wooded area with extremely rough terrain in northwestern Kendall County, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Fredericksburg in central Texas.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said the aircraft had taken off from the city of Midland, Texas, sometime on Thursday. “It stopped to refuel in Fredericksburg around 7:30 p.m.,” he said. “According to preliminary information, the aircraft departed for Seguin, Texas, just before 8 p.m. and crashed shortly after that in rough terrain.”

A search-and-rescue operation was launched when the aircraft’s emergency beacon was activated, but local authorities were later forced to suspend the search due to bad weather conditions. It was not immediately clear if the aircraft which found the wreckage was involved in the search-and-rescue operation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said three people were on board the aircraft but none of them survived. Federal records from the FAA showed the 2008-built aircraft was registered to Eric A Spitzer, LLC which is based in the city of Woodland in Yolo County, California.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the accident.