Last Friday, a helicopter crashed into Atlantic Ocean waters, killing all seven people on board. The aircraft was on its way to a Fort Lauderdale hospital from Grand Cay Island, a private island owned by a coal industry billionaire and philanthropist. Officials have confirmed that the coal tycoon, his 22-year-old daughter, the helicopter’s pilot, and four other people died in the accident.
According to the Bahamas police, the helicopter took off at approximately 2 a.m. but was not reported missing for another 12 hours. The craft sent no distress call; aviation officials are still investigating what caused the accident. The craft was found submerged in 16 feet of water. Officials have confirmed that the helicopter was taking the billionaire's daughter to a Fort Lauderdale hospital in response to a medical emergency.
Investigators Begin Piecing Together Wreckage
Officials stated that the helicopter crashed about one to two miles from where it took off and that weather was excellent at the time. Initial speculation blames a mechanical failure in the helicopter’s tail section for the accident. However, officials are stressing that it is too soon to determine what caused the crash.
“Right now, it’s too early to say what part of the craft may have been contributing to the accident,” said Captain Delvin Major of the Bahamas Air Accident Investigation Department (BAAID).
The helicopter was an Agusta AW139, a craft with room for 15 passengers. Its components are currently at an AAID facility where investigators are examining the wreckage for signs of what caused the accident. Additionally, AAID officials confirmed that they’ve recovered the aircraft’s flight and data recorders and sent them to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Our helicopter accident lawyers will continue to follow updates regarding this accident.