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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45181
Last updated: 26 April 2019
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Date:25-JUN-2003
Time:08:30 CDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:Berg Aviation Inc.
Registration: N7512P
C/n / msn: 10046
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Coleta, Whiteside County, Illinois -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Mukwonago, Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Destination airport:Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, Kansas City, Missouri (KMKC)
Narrative:
On June 25, 2003, about 08:30 CDT (Central Daylight Time), a Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, N7512P, operated by Berg Aviation Inc., was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Coleta, Illinois. The business flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from a private airfield near Mukwonago, Wisconsin, about 07:30 CDT, and was en route to Kansas City, Missouri, when it impacted terrain.

A witness saw a helicopter heading in a south westerly direction. She stated: "The helicopter didn't seem to have maneuvering difficulty. It still continued to lose altitude. I noticed the propeller losing speed. The 'copter appeared to lose half of its [altitude] very quickly. Before the 'copter actually went down, the blades appeared to stop rotating and then I counted 2 blades."

Another witness stated:

"... At about 8:30 AM I was standing outside of my home, and heard a plane having trouble coming from [the northeast] heading [southwest] the motor seemed to be having trouble. Motor never stopped but took a nose dive into a field. I returned to the house [and] had [my] wife call 911".

The Whiteside County Sheriff's Department report showed that a 911 call was received at 08:32 CDT. The helicopter was found in a cornfield at 41 degrees 54.501 minutes North latitude, and 89 degrees 48.207 minutes West longitude.

Weather was: Wind 200 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 8 statute miles; sky condition clear. An on-scene investigation was conducted and no helicopter pre-impact anomalies were detected. No pre-impact anomalies were detected in the testing of the magnetos, fuel distribution valve, distribution lines, fuel injectors, fuel servo, hydraulic system, and the engine. An analysis of the liquid from the fuel servo revealed "the presence of aviation gasoline."

On the back of the student pilot's certificate was stated in bold lettering, "Passenger-Carrying Prohibited." However, two passengers were on board and were fatally injured. Toxicological testing revealed, "0.377 (ug/ml, ug/g) AMPHETAMINE detected in Blood, 10.479 (ug/ml, ug/g) AMPHETAMINE detected in Urine, 0.626 (ug/mL, ug/g) FLUOXETINE detected in Blood, FLUOXETINE present in Urine, NORFLUOXETINE present in Blood, NORFLUOXETINE present in URINE."

Federal Aviation Regulation 91.17 stated, "No person may act or attempt to act as a crew member of a civil aircraft... while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety." The Forensic Toxicology Information Sheet excerpts stated, "Amphetamine is a widely used drug of abuse. However, amphetamine is used in medicine primarily in combination with dextroamphetamine for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity...Fluoxetine is a prescription antidepressant also indicated for the use of obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa (an eating disorder) and often known by the trade name Prozac.

Norfluoxetine is a metabolite of fluoxetine. Amphetamine is a stimulant, often known informally as "speed." It may be prescribed for conditions including narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, but it is often a drug of abuse and has a high incidence of addiction.

Probable Cause: The pilot not maintaining main rotor RPM during cruise flight. The factor in the two passenger's fatal injuries was the pilot not following directives concerning the prohibition of carrying passengers while a student pilot. Other factors were the pilot's use of inappropriate medication/drugs, and the impairment of the pilot by amphetamine.

Registration N7152P was cancelled by the FAA on June 1 2006

Sources:

1. NTSB Accident Number: CHI03FA181 at https://www.ntsb.gov/about/employment/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20030701X00975&ntsbno=CHI03FA181&akey=1
2. FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=7512P
3. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=1530
4. https://newspaperarchive.com/alton-telegraph-jun-26-2003-p-3/
5. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.obituaries/EvLJ0vXL9_M
6. https://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/377057.html
7. https://wqad.com/2012/12/11/3-killed-in-illinois-helicopter-crash/
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleta,_Illinois
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukwonago,_Wisconsin
10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City,_Missouri
11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_B._Wheeler_Downtown_Airport#Accidents_and_incidents


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
02-Sep-2016 21:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 18:49 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Oct-2018 22:57 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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