Michael Fossett / Tim Newman

Fatalities in Aviation Accident.



          Memorial Fund Established



             RALEIGH - The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) is requesting that people donate money to memorial funds arranged for the families of the two victims in last Thursdays helicopter crash. Tim Newman, 40, of Franklin was the pilot of the helicopter that went down last Thursday in Waynesville. He left behind a wife and three children. Michael Fossett, 45, of Fayetteville was crew chief of the helicopter that crashed. He left behind a wife and six children, two of which are over the age of 18. To help these families offset costs from the tragic and untimely death of these two men, please donate money to the following memorial funds:





Michael R. Fossett
Memorial Fund
First Union
4924 Morganton Road Fayetteville, NC 28314
  David Timothy Newman
Memorial Fund
State Employees Credit Union
352 Westgate Plaza, PO Box 317
Franklin, NC 28734



          Removal of Chopper Debris Begins This Week


             RALEIGH - The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) has had a traumatic week since one of its eight UH-1H (Huey) fire fighting helicopters crashed this past Thursday in Waynesville, killing both the pilot Tim Newman, 40, of Franklin and crew chief Mike Fossett, 45, of Fayetteville.


             In wake of the fatal crash, NCDFR grounded all of the Forest Service helicopters as a safety precaution until results from the preliminary investigation by the NTSB (National Transportation and Safety Board) were revealed.


             NCDFR was notified that there was no indication of mechanical failure during the initial investigation of the helicopter at the crash sight. The full investigation to determine the cause of the crash will proceed and could continue for months.



          Restrictions Lifted on Chopper Use


             13 September 2000: NCDFR has decided to lift the restriction of grounding their helicopters and make them available for operation as of Tuesday afternoon.


             The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) plans to use one of the Huey helicopters as it begins the removal process of the downed aircraft from the mountain. The removal may begin as early as Wednesday afternoon. This could be a slow methodical process to ensure that the aircraft does not experience any further damage so it can be more closely investigated. The engine of the aircraft will be sent back to the engine manufacturer and the main rotor shaft will be sent to Bell Helicopter for further inspection. All other parts will be secured until further instruction from the NTSB (National Transportation and Safety Board) and FAA.


             As a safety precaution, during the removal process, air space will be restricted over the crash sight.



          NTSB Identification: MIA00GA264


          Accident occurred SEP-07-00 at WAYNESVILLE, NC


          Aircraft: Bell UH-1H, registration: N525BM


          Injuries: 2 Fatal.


             This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.


             On September 7, 2000, about 0905 eastern daylight time, a Bell UH-1H, N525BM, registered to the USDA Forest Service, operated by the North Carolina State Forest Service as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 public-use flight, crashed while maneuvering in the vicinity of Waynesville, North Carolina. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The rotorcraft was destroyed, and the commercially-rated pilot and a crew chief sustained fatal injuries. The flight departed about 35 minutes before the accident. According to a Haywood County forest ranger located at the Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, who was securing the landing zone for the rotorcraft's arrival, at about 0900, the pilot advised by radio that he was 5 minutes from landing, but that ground fog was precluding his progress, and that he would look for a place to land until the fog lifted. The pilot asked for the weather conditions at the LZ and was given; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 feet and one mile visibility. There was no acknowledgement. Beginning about 0910, numerous telephone calls started coming into the 911 operator about a low flying helicopter near residences in West Waynesville. One witness stated she heard the definite sounds of blades hitting trees just before the cessation of engine sounds. The wreckage was located in dense forest the next day about 1210.



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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