Police and others are now investigating an air crash between a small plane and a helicopter. The two crashed in mid-air before falling into trees, leaving three people dead and one badly injured. Police are currently unsure of what caused the air crash, though they are still working to figure it out, as they continue to clean debris away from the crash site, near a Maryland airport.
According to sources, a Robinson R44 helicopter was doing a training exercise, although the type of exercise is unclear, when they collided with a small Cirrus SR22 plane that was heading for Frederick Municipal Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board began investigating right away. As the plane landed between two storage units in a midst of trees, fire and rescue rushed to the scene.
The two passengers from the plane were able to deploy a parachute before the plane crashed, leaving only one of them injured from the air crash. The pilot had injuries to his face and as a witness stated, he was very shaken up. The plane appeared to be mostly in tact but the helicopter was mostly destroyed. The three passengers from the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said that they do not know who was piloting the helicopter but they were able to identify the men as Christopher D. Parsons, 29, of Westminster, Maryland; Breandan J. MacFawn, 35, of Cumberland, Maryland; and William Jenkins, 47, of Morrison, Colorado. The helicopter was traced to belonging to Advanced Helicopter Concepts, a flight school. This accident was not the first coming from one of their helicopters, as a group in training crashed in 2009, as well, though it was investigated and ruled to be an accident due to poor visibility.
The plane survivors and the air traffic controllers have been questioned over the incident, as investigators and the FAA and NTSB work to figure out exactly what caused the air crash. According to sources, both air craft were in control by the air traffic controllers at the Frederick Municipal Airport. It is said that the plane was traveling from Tennessee, though it is owned by a company in Olney.
Police stated that all those investigating acquired transcripts from the air traffic controllers, as they were apparently involved with two planes and three helicopters, during the time of the air crash. As the transcripts revealed, the air traffic controllers gave the airplane clearance to land right before a crash is heard and screaming. The controller then reports that a plane and helicopter are down. According to sources, two residents nearby saw the plane “spiral out of control” as it went down. The crash and landings caused road closures soon after. According to the residents the weather was cloudy, but the police state that they don’t think it was a factor in the crash.
As the two survivors and families of all of those involved work to recover from this tragic event, police, the FAA and the NTSB are still investigating all possible causes for the air crash in Maryland. Police state that there are many parts to this investigation including, checking the pilots credentials and licensing, assessing whether the plane or helicopter were “faulty,” and trying to figure out if the conditions and weather could have been a factor.
By Crystal Boulware