Passenger Taken To Hospital, Condition Unknown
The downing of a vintage
single-engine aircraft in Ohio claimed the life of the pilot
Tuesday morning, and injured the passenger onboard.
The Denver Post reports 37-year-old Leonard Notek was killed
when the 1966 Helton Lark 95 crashed just after takeoff from
Moraine Airpark (I73) near Dayton. His passenger and girlfriend,
Nikki Romero, was transported by helicopter to a local hospital.
Her condition is presently unknown.
Witnesses said the plane's engine was sputtering as it began a
left climbing turn, before the Lark's wing struck a power pole. The
plane came to rest inverted in the backyard of a home near the
small airstrip, said Sgt. Chris Colbert of the Ohio Highway
"We are very fortunate both people didn't die in this," Colbert
A native of Dayton, Notek was hired one year ago as a pilot for
Frontier Airlines, and lived in the Denver suburb of Castle Park,
"He was always happy," Linda Notek told the Dayton Daily News.
"When I picture him now all I picture is his smile, just a happy
guy. The only thing I can say is he died doing what he loved to
Notek reportedly planned to fly the Lark, which belonged to a
friend, to Reno, NV.
A forerunner to today's light sport aircraft, the Helton Lark
had its roots in the World War II-era Culver PQ-8 target drone.
Several companies attempted to convert that aircraft to civilian
use, the first being the Lark Aviation Company in Tracy, CA. Two
years after that company folded, Helton Aircraft of Mesa, AZ
purchased the design -- now sporting plywood-covered wings, in lieu
of fabric, and a sliding canopy -- and began limited production in
Production ceased in early 1967, however, with only a handful of
Helton Larks produced. One
example is housed at the Pima Air Museum.
Make/Model: LARK Description: HELTON
Date: 06/17/2008 Time: 1440
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: DAYTON State: OH Country:
AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE WERE TWO
BOARD, ONE WAS FATALLY INJURED AND ONE SUSTAINED SERIOUS
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 1 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
Activity: Unknown Phase:
Unknown Operation: OTHER
FAA FSDO: CINCINNATI, OH
Entry date: 06/18/2008