June 18, 2004, Killingly, Conn. / Robinson R-44


At 0324 Eastern time the helicopter was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Killingly, Conn. The Commercial pilot and a Private pilot were fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed, but no flight plan had been filed for the Part 91 positioning flight from Scranton, Penn., to the Theodore Francis (T.F.) Green State Airport (PVD) in Providence, R.I. Preliminary downloaded data from a handheld GPS unit found at the crash site revealed that the helicopter had departed Scranton at 0047. It then proceeded east, along Interstate 84, to Middletown, N.Y., turned southeast, along Route 17, then south, along Interstate 87. The helicopter subsequently passed Nyack, N.Y., crossed the Hudson River, and continued southeast until reaching Port Chester, N.Y. It then followed Interstate 95 northeast, until turning further northeast to follow Interstate 395. Once following Interstate 95, the helicopter began a climb, reaching 8600 feet by 0250. After arriving in the vicinity of Killingly, Conn., at about 0306, the helicopter began a series of four descending right turns. It then made a much wider right turn, to the northwest of the original turns, and passed directly over Danielson Airport about 4,600 feet. The helicopter subsequently proceeded back to the south, to the area where the original turns took place, and completed four more descending turns until the track stopped at 0324, at an indicated altitude of 560 feet. Although the commercial pilot held rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument-helicopter ratings. The helicopter was equipped for night flight, but not flight in instrument meteorological conditions. The nearest airport with recorded weather information was Windham Airport (IJD), Willimantic, Conn., about 15 nm west of the accident site. Recorded weather information at IJD, at 0252, included 1 miles visibility an overcast at 500 feet.


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