NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA (January 30, 2017) – Three people were killed and two were injured when a Robinson 44 helicopter crashed into a house on Shearwater Place in Newport Beach on Tuesday, according to a local news source. (map)
The helicopter, which had been subleased to Revolution Aviation, was carrying four people when it crashed into a home on Shearwater Place around 2:00 pm. The crash also involved at least one pedestrian on the ground. Three of the five people involved were killed, and two more were rushed to hospitals in unknown condition.
The helicopter belonged to Eric Spitzer of Spitzer Helicopter Leasing, who had leased the Robinson R44 to Revolution Aviation, a flight school and touring company. Revolution Aviation is based out of John Wayne Airport and has operated with a 100% safety record until this incident. The resident of the home that the helicopter crashed into was inside the house at the time of the crash, but was miraculously uninjured.
Robinson 44s are among the most popular civilian helicopters in the world, due to their relatively low price and lightweight construction. They are especially popular for flight schools, sightseeing companies, and police departments. This is the third serious crash in Southern California during the last year involving a Robinson R44. In May of 2017 a helicopter crashed into a golf course in Santa Barbara, injuring three, and in July an R44 crashed into a street in Sherman Oaks, injuring four.
It is unknown at this time whether the helicopter was on a sightseeing expedition or a flight training one, and it is also unknown if those killed were all inside the helicopter. Initial reports by the Flight Safety Foundation indicate that two of the deaths may have been inside the helicopter, and the remaining victim may have been on the ground, but these reports have not been substantiated yet. The helicopter was relatively new and had been manufactured in 2003, and was leased to Revolution in 2016.
Initial reports also seem to indicate that the helicopter had just taken off when the accident happened. Witnesses on the ground say they heard the helicopter blades slowing down as it approached, as if it was experiencing engine trouble. It also appeared to those on the ground that the helicopter was trying to land in the street, but clipped the roof of a house across the street before it spun into the home on Shearwater Place.
The investigation is ongoing into this tragic accident, and the FAA and the NTSB are both on scene to investigate the accident. These investigations can sometimes take years, but initial findings should be available before then. Lexton Law will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.
“The prayers of everyone at Lexton Law Firm are with the families and friends of those killed and injured in this horrible accident. We hope those injured in the accident make a full recovery, and we hope the families of those killed able to find some answers,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law Firm. Call us today at (877) 541-2111. We are here to help you.