This is a private roadway near the site of a fatal helicopter crash in Cameron Parish. A Sikorsky S-76 A++ owned and operated by ERA Helicopters, LLC, crashed near Tom Hebert and Corbina roads before noon on Friday, killing the pilot and two passengers. (Johnathan Manning / American Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 7:19 PM
An Era helicopter on a maintenance flight crashed south of Lake Charles at midday Friday killing all three occupants, authorities said.
The Sikorsky S-76A helicopter went down in a muddy field just on the Cameron side of the Cal-Cam line, between the line that Tom Hebert and Corbina roads follow.
Pilot William R. Croucher, 69, of California, and mechanics Michael Lee Tyree, 55, of Iowa, and Timothy Lloyd Goehring, 41, of Sulphur, all died at the scene, Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson said.
All three were employees of Era Helicopters, Johnson said.
Because of the wet state of the field, emergency responders could only reach the crash site by all-terrain vehicle, tractor or helicopter.
Emergency personnel returned from the crash site muddied and describing a charred scene.
“It’s very rough country, very muddy,” Johnson said.
The bodies were removed from the scene by helicopter, said Zeb Johnson, investigator with the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office.
Sheriff Ron Johnson said a Federal Aviation Administration investigator was at the crash site.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, according to Lynn Lunsford, FAA spokesman.
The helicopter departed Lake Charles Regional Airport about 30 minutes before the accident, Lunsford said.
Ron Johnson said an off-duty officer reported the crash at 11:45 a.m.
The sheriff’s offices of Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes, as well as both parish’s offices of emergency preparedness and firefighters from Lake Charles and Grand Lake set up a staging area at the corner of Tom Hebert and parish line roads.
Zeb Johnson credited the firefighters with getting water to the scene despite not being able to get their trucks close.
“These guys were doing a heck of a job, if it wasn’t for them we’d still be out there,” he said.
Ron Johnson said the investigation will continue tomorrow and that Cameron officers will guard the crash site tonight.
Era Helicopters CEO Sten Gustafson released a statement following the crash: “We deeply regret this unfortunate accident and we will use all of our resources to support the families of those involved. Our review will continue in concert with the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has jurisdiction over this matter.”
The two-engine, 14-seat helicopter was built in 1990, according to website FlightAware.
Posted By: Brandon James On: 3/19/2013
Title: Goehring relatives in Pa
We pray for Tim's family. We also pray for his mother and father here in Pennsylvania who were close to him and his family.
Thanks to american Press for the information
Posted By: SmC On: 3/17/2013
Title: Farewell Mr. Mike
I've known Mr. Tyree and his family since I was a little kid...and more or less grew up with his two children, Mikey and Allie. He was always very quiet and reserved...He had impeccable taste in music, had a sharp sense of humor and a constant dedication to his family. He was also a longtime co-worker of my dad's back in the late 80's and early 90's...at Boeing and later Northrop Grumman. My dad always described him as being a very meticulous worker with great attention to detail and a genuine love for his work. Words can't express how shaking this tragedy is. He will be sorely missed and this wound will cut deep on his family and friends...All I can say is...I hope closure and acceptance come swiftly to them...if ever...and I hope this doesn't overcome them. Its up to their loved ones and friends to be there for them to lean on...for however long it takes to get through this dark night of the soul. The same goes for the other two involved in the crash...We'll see you guys on the other side.
Posted By: Patrick On: 3/16/2013
Title: RIP Tim
So sad to hear. Tim was a good man, and a good mechanic. I really enjoyed working with him. He will be missed
Posted By: Tom Mealy On: 3/16/2013
Title: Capt. Midnight
My prayers go out to the families of those lost in this accident. Bill and I flew opposite of each other on the night shift for many years before my retirement in 2007. He was a great pilot and friend over the many years we flew together. Always smiling and upbeat, ready with a joke, and to give you his help, both personnal and professional. He will be greatly missed by many in the aviation world.