Jump to content

Factual Report Issued


Recommended Posts



Below is a link to the factual accident report which was posted to the NTSB website last night. It is approaching a year and a half since the accident and there have been many ups and downs. I have not said too much publicly about the accident as I wanted to wait for the accident report to be released. After reading it, you may understand why I did not feel comfortable speaking in public about the findings of the accident investigation.




Attached is what they call the “Factual Report”. This now will go on to committee and they will issue the “Probable Cause” report based upon these findings.




I feel that this is an accurate portrayal of the events of the day.





I want to thank all those who have given me and my family support through these times.




Thanks again to everyone







Report Link



Alt link

Edited by jtravis1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. This has been very difficult to recover from, but I just take it day by day. I feel very fortunate to have survived something that few people do such as a wire strike like this.


Looking at the wreckage, is truly sobering. Had I not been leaning over adjusting the gps, I would not have survived. When the ship hit the wires, the wire came in just above the wire cutter and hit the pitch link of the advancing blade. This made an extreme input into the blade and it basically came straight down through the cabin. The fact that I was leaning as I was allowed the blade to miss me.....flying just over my shoulder.



Here is a picture of the helicopter in storage where the NTSB brought it for the investigation. It illustrates clearly the path the blade took down through the cabin. It basically came right down to the top of the dash.....




After this...the blade departed. The imbalance ripped the entire transmission and blades right out of the ship.




Then the ship, blade-less.....fell straight down almost 100'. We came to rest on the belly, the engine still running. I tried to roll the throttle down, but I could not. My body had crushed and broken all the controls in the fall. I then shut the ship down by pulling the fuel cut-off. I unbuckled and climbed of the ship. I was worried the ship would catch fire and I removed my friend from the ship dragging him as far from the wreckage as I could before phoning for help.


That is about all I remember.....my memory fades from there and my next memories begin somewhere in the second hospital they transferred me to. I suffered a broken neck and a frontal brain bruise which is what caused my memory loss. My injuries were the result of falling straight down and impacting the ground bent over as I was. Much like a whiplash injury. My brain bruise was the result of the deceleration after the fall bent over.


Falling bent over, is what I believe prevented me from getting a lower spine compression fracture as is so common in these types of helicopter crashes.


I remember when I first got the ship, I did not like the fact that it had self-sealing tanks because you lost about 12 gal of capacity. The fact that it had these type bladders and all the check valves / baffles at the filler neck...etc...is the reason I am convinced there was no post crash fire. We had a full tank of fuel and fell that distance directly on to 350+ lbs of Jet-A.....yet the tanks did not give up their contents even in this extreme fall. If they had....with the engine running as it was, I believe it would have gone up immediately.


I have kept quiet for so long about the events of that day. I hope that by sharing my experiences that something good can come out of all of this.


Although I still hold my certificates, I do not see any flying in my near future. I have not been up since the accident. My passion for flying was undeniable, but sadly I have no desire to fly just yet. I am not sure if it ever will return or if I will ever be able to afford to either. This accident was devastating financially as well.


On a brighter side, I feel fortunate to wake up each day and have a chance to see things from an entirely new perspective. It has given me an new appreciation for many of the things we all take for granted some times. If anything, it is one of the wonderful things about this whole event. It has left me a changed man.....hopefully for the better.


Thank you again for all the kindness and support.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Justin- one question- you were not wearing a helmet, correct? I wondered in this situation if that would have helped. 100 foot fall is well outside of the norm to survive, you are extremely lucky.


That said, I know of the new look on life that you feel after a close call like this. PM me anytime.


Good Luck,



Edited by Goldy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct, I was not wearing my helmet.


It is my belief that the helmet could have made my situation worse. Much like the 1 in a 1,000,000 case were not wearing a seat belt actually saved some one, I think not wearing my helmet prevented a far worse injury.


I think the added mass of the helmet might have caused an injury similar to Dale Earnhardt. It was the declaration at the bottom which caused my broken neck. Had I been wearing a helmet,...it might have been far worse...???


I think I was just lucky that day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 years later...


Report Link



Alt link



Good to have you back, I remember reading about this when it happened. I'm glad to see you are recovering well, looking at those photos you are one seriously lucky person!


Those links you gave don't seem to work for me, do you have a ref ID I can use to manually find it from the website?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...