The National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report on the fatal helicopter crash on September 8 that took the life of Troy Gentry.
Per the NTSB report the helicopter pilot experienced mechanical issues prior to crashing. Gentry took a helicopter ride at Flying W Airport in Medford. N.J. but, after takeoff the pilot, James Evan Robinson, who was also killed in the crash, radioed that “he could roll the twist-grip, but there was no corresponding change in engine RPM when he did so.”
The company flight instructor and another certificated helicopter flight instructor were monitoring the frequency and engaged the pilot in conversation about potential courses of action to affect the subsequent landing according to the report.
Robinson maneuvered the helicopter onto the runway where it crashed prior to reaching the runway. According to the report, “both instructors reported a high pitched “whine” from the helicopter during the latter portion of descent.”
The helicopter was manufactured in 2000 and had approximately 7,900 flight hours and was most recent 100 hour inspection occured on August 17.
Excerpts from Robinson’s log book indicate he logged more than 480 hours of flight experience and more than 300 hours in the specific helicopter involved in the crash. It was also noted Robinson had taken the helicopter out for a 1.2 hour flight earlier on September 8.