Texas Helicopter Crash Leaves One Dead, Two Seriously Injured
A Texas helicopter crash in West Galveston Bay Monday evening was devastating for at least one family and possibly two others. The chopper was returning from an oil cargo survey of an oil tanker known as the Eagle Vancouver when it crashed into the water. The crash resulted in one passenger’s death and the pilot and another passenger seriously injured. The deceased passenger was later identified as 58-year-old Warren Moore of Deerpark.
The company that owned and operated the helicopter, Santa Fe, Texas-based Republic Helicopters Inc. issued a rosy outlook for the survivors. They also referred to the crash as a “water landing.” The helicopter was headed to Scholes International Airport in Galveston but crashed about eight miles short. Two surveyors had hired the helicopter to take them to the tanker to evaluate the quality of the oil. The last time the helicopter made radio contact with the company was at 7:15 p.m. Monday evening.
When the Coast Guard also failed to make radio contact, they initiated a formal rescue operation. However, 52-year-old Sean Welsh, a county building inspector, and his 17-year-old son, Micky Welsh, were on the bay in their private boat when they spotted the two survivors clinging to a piece of the wrecked helicopter that was barely visible above the water, and they pulled them into their boat. Welsh described them as “cold and wet and beat up.” According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the initial search operations had been impacted by fog, but that the wreckage was discovered about 9:40 p.m. Welsh called a friend, who called the local sheriff’s office, so when the boat arrived at the dock, an ambulance was there. The survivors were transferred to the University of Texas Medical Branch.
The names of the two survivors were not made available, but as of yesterday, both were still in the hospital and both had undergone surgery. The victims of this crash and their loved ones deserve a lot of answers. The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are at the scene of the crash and they will do a complete and thorough investigation to determine what caused this crash, or “water landing.” The investigation will determine whether not this was a case of pilot error or inexperience, or a mechanical problem. It is also possible there was a defect in the helicopter or Republic Helicopters failed to perform proper maintenance. Every helicopter operated in the United States must be maintained according to strict FAA standards, as set out in the Federal Aviation Regulations. Also, every helicopter pilot must meet all FAA qualifications standards and must not be under the influence or over tired.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as the result of an accident involving a helicopter, please contact the Texas Aviation Accident Lawyer atthe Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, so that we can help you through the process of recovering for any losses that may have been due to another’s negligence. We will identify all negligent parties and make sure they are held responsible. We can help you protect your rights under the law.