Thu, Apr 19, 2012
Pilot, State Representative William Wadsworth, Credited With Lifesaving Action
State Representative William Wadsworth of Farmington, CT, said he "felt a little bump in the machine" just before it went down in a wooded area near his home. The accident severally injured his girlfriend, Irene Van, who is recovering from a broken back at a rehabilitation center in West Hartford.
The Hartford Courant reports that Wadsworth and Van had been on a sightseeing pleasure flight, and had just refueled before returning to his home in the R-22 (similar aircraft pictured). He told the paper that after feeling the bump, the helo started spinning clockwise toward the ground. He raised the nose of the aircraft as it went down by applying aft cyclic (slowing both the forward speed and the descent rate), potentially preventing fatal injuries to both he and Van.
After the aircraft came to rest on the ground, Wadsworth said he heard what sounded like fuel leaking from the tanks, so he unbuckled Van from the aircraft and carried her to safety.
The NTSB will prepare a preliminary report within 10 business days of the accident. Wadsworth says for the time being, he is "pretty much committed to staying on the ground." The Robinson is the third helicopter he has owned.
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