Report Details Timeline of Fatal Helicopter Crash

A pilot who flew out of Flying Cloud airport crashed on the Maplewood/Oakdale border June 19.

Helicopter crash site near Oakdale/Maplewood border. (Courtesy of Andrews Photography)
Helicopter crash site near Oakdale/Maplewood border. (Courtesy of Andrews Photography)

A National Transportation Safety Board factual report released Tuesday paints a picture of events leading up to the fatal June 19 helicopter crash near the Maplewood/Oakdale border.

A helicopter owned by Scott’s Helicopter Services crashed at 8:12 a.m. next to a detached garage on the 2700 block of Seventh Street in Maplewood while the pilot was doing contract work for the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.

The unidentified 44-year-old who died was a commercial pilot with 2,778 hours of flight time in helicopters—including 332 hours in the Bell 47G-3B-1 model that crashed.

The pilot arrived at the Flying Cloud Airport hanger in Eden Prairie at about 6:20 a.m., made some coffee, checked the weather and preflighted the helicopter, according to another company pilot.  

The pilot then flew to a remote staging area near Maplewood, where the helicopter was loaded with a mosquito control dry chemical.

GPS showed that the pilot visited two of the four areas planned for the flight. Witnesses saw the pilot apply the chemicals to a site just south of the staging area and then leave. Other witness near the crash site saw the helicopter lose altitude, turn or roll to the left and descend before disappearing behind some houses.

The report details damage to the helicopter from the crash. But since it is a “factual report,” it does not specify the cause of the crash. A final description of the crash and the probable cause of the crash will be released when the investigation is completed.


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