Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bell 407, ACS Helicopters, N108MF: Accident occurred October 09, 2012 in Coolbaugh Township, Pennsylvania

SPECI KMPO 100039Z AUTO 12005KT 1/4SM FG VV002 09/09 A301  RMK AO2 RAE27 P0001

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA014 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 09, 2012 in Coolbaugh Township, PA
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N108MF
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 9, 2012, about 2000 eastern daylight time, a Bell 407, N108MF, operated by ACS Helicopters LLC., was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain in Coolbaugh Township, Pennsylvania. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and one passenger was seriously injured. The corporate flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Westchester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, New York. The flight last departed Elmira/Corning Regional Airport (ELM), Elmira, New York about 1845.

According to recovered cockpit documentation and passenger interviews, on the day of the accident, the helicopter departed Somerset Airport (SMQ), Somerville, New Jersey at 0730 for Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. After arriving at MMU at 0753, the pilot boarded four passengers, and then departed at 0830 for Camden County Airport (19N), Berlin, New Jersey, where it arrived at 0920. After having breakfast, the four passengers then played golf from approximately 1030 to 1500, and then socialized for approximately an hour before returning to the airport, where they once again boarded the helicopter. At 1630, the helicopter then departed for SMQ, landing there at 1710, and deplaned one passenger. At 1720 the helicopter departed once again, this time for ELM with three of the original four passengers onboard. After arriving at ELM at 1830 another passenger deplaned, and at 1845 the helicopter with the pilot and two of the original four passengers departed for HPN.

According to a limousine driver who was supposed to pick up one of the passengers at HPN, at 1938 he received a text from the passenger stating that they were "running late". Then at 1953, he received another text instructing him to go back to MMU to pick up the passenger. After arriving at MMU, the driver waited but the helicopter never arrived.

A search by Federal, State, and Local authorities was initiated. On October 10, 2012 at approximately 0230 the helicopter was discovered in a heavily wooded area approximately 1.3 miles northwest of Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania.

Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that after striking trees, the helicopter struck the ground coming to rest on its right side. Further examination revealed that the ground was saturated with fuel, there was still fuel onboard the helicopter, and there was no evidence of any preimpact failures, or malfunctions of the rotor system, flight control system, or aircraft structure.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, with commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter. His most recent application for an FAA first-class medical certificate was dated June 1, 2012. On that date, he reported 19,000 hours of flight time.

According to FAA and maintenance records the helicopter was manufactured in 2007.The helicopter's most recent annual inspection was completed on August 3, 2012. At the time of the accident, the helicopter had accrued 837.3 total hours of operation.

The recorded weather at MPO, at 2003, included: wind 100 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 1 1/4 miles, light rain, mist, overcast ceiling of 200 feet, temperature 09 degrees C, dew point 09 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

The helicopter was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

  Regis#: 108MF        Make/Model: B407      Description: Bell 407
  Date: 10/10/2012     Time: 0636

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: MOUNT POCONO   State: PA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   3     Fat:   2     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: ALLENTOWN, PA  (EA05)                 Entry date: 10/10/2012 

Fraser Sullivan Founder Tighe Sullivan Dies in Helicopter Crash

 Tighe Sullivan was one of the victims in the helicopter crash Tuesday night near Mount Pocono. 

 Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Tighe Sullivan, co-founder of WCAS Fraser Sullivan Investment Management LLC, was killed in a helicopter crash in Pennsylvania while returning from a golf outing. He was 51.

Sullivan, of Darien, Connecticut, was among three passengers in a helicopter that went down in a wooded area in Coolbaugh Township about 8 p.m. on Oct. 9, the Monroe County coroner’s office said yesterday in a statement. The pilot, William Ellsworth, 52, of Califon, New Jersey, also died, while passenger Stephen Barral of Bernardsville, New Jersey, a fraternity brother of Sullivan’s, survived.

Sullivan started the leveraged-loan firm with John Fraser in 2005 after leaving Deutsche Bank AG, where he was a managing director in high-yield sales. He is survived by his wife, Callie, and their children, Jessie, 18, Lila, 17, and Tiger, 15, said Richard Lombard, his father-in-law.

“He was just a wonderful guy,” Lombard said in a telephone interview. “Full of spirit. An action person.”

Sullivan, an alumnus of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, enjoyed wakeboarding and skiing and coached his son’s hockey teams, Lombard said. A service will be held at the United Church of Rowayton in Norwalk, Connecticut, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 14, he said.

3i Group Plc, the U.K’s oldest private-equity firm, said in August that it was starting a U.S. unit with New York-based WCAS Fraser Sullivan, which managed about $2.5 billion at the time. Sullivan was slated to be co-head of the U.S. business when the transaction was completed, reporting to Jeremy Ghose, chief executive officer of 3i Debt Management.

Deutsche Bank

“We are all shocked and saddened by this tragic loss,” Ghose said in a statement. “I know how excited Tighe was to be part of 3i and, together with John Fraser and his colleagues, we will continue to build on the foundations he laid and to keep his memory in our hearts.”

At Deutsche Bank, Sullivan helped market $185 billion of junk bonds and bridge loans, according to a biography on the WCAS Fraser Sullivan website. Before joining Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank in 2001, he worked at ING Barings LLC and First Union Securities Inc., according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Sullivan covered a lot of big accounts at Deutsche Bank, said Michael Herzig, who worked with him there. He had a “big, energetic, enthusiastic personality,” said Herzig, 44, now a managing director at THL Credit Senior Loan Strategies, a unit of private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.

‘People Person’

That popularity on Wall Street helped Sullivan recruit talented employees when he ventured out on his own, Fraser, the co-founder, said in a telephone interview. The two met in 1983 when both were working for Chase Manhattan Bank and had talked about starting a company together since around 2000, he said.

“Tighe’s a people person,” Fraser said. “He was great at developing relationships with people that ultimately proved valuable.”

When the helicopter went down, Sullivan was returning from a golf trip to Pine Valley, New Jersey, Lombard said. They had dropped off a passenger in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and were returning to the New York area when the pilot diverted toward a local airport to escape bad weather, Chief Harry Lewis of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department said in a statement. They crashed about a mile from Mt. Pocono Airport, he said.

Police found the wreckage in a heavily wooded area near Interstate 380 at 2:29 a.m., about 6 1/2 hours after it went down, according to the coroner. After an initial search failed, Barral’s mobile phone signal eventually led police to the crash site, WNEP-TV of Moosic, Pennsylvania, reported on its website.

Fraternity Brothers

Sullivan and Ellsworth were dead when police arrived, the coroner said. Barral, who was riding in the helicopter’s back seat, was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to the coroner.

Ellsworth flew helicopters part-time. He was also a first officer for American Airlines Inc., based at New York’s LaGuardia airport, according to Sam Mayer, a spokesman for the pilots union. He been an American pilot for 19 years, the airline said in an e-mailed statement.

Sullivan and Barral were both members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Colgate, Charlie Herzog, a fraternity brother, said in a telephone interview. Barral graduated in 1984 and worked on Wall Street, Herzog said.

‘Star Personality’
Sullivan was born on March 16, 1961, in Montclair, New Jersey, his wife said. His mother, Cheryl, made furnishings, such as curtains, and his father, John, was manager of operations for retailer B. Altman & Co., she said. Both are deceased.

After two years at Montclair State College, Sullivan transferred to Colgate, his father-in-law said. He borrowed from an acquaintance and sold newspapers to pay tuition and became a “star personality,” he said. Sullivan joined the economics and politics clubs and took a turn on the student-run radio station, according to Colgate’s website.

“He was a total Horatio Alger story,” Lombard said.

Three years after he graduated, Sullivan met Callie while he was in the training program at Chase and she was working as an art saleswoman, she said. A mutual friend set them up on a blind date at the Dew Drop Inn, a bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, on Dec. 5, 1986, she said.

Lake George

“My friend said that he had red hair and was kind of obnoxious and liked to drink a lot of beer,” Callie said. “I said, ‘Why would I want to go out with somebody like that?’ She said, ‘Because you like a challenge.’

“We fell in love at first sight, that was it,” said Callie, a former member of the Darien Board of Selectmen.

The couple were married in 1989, and in 2000 they bought a house on Lake George in upstate New York, which they renovated. He used one of their boats for wakeboarding there, she said.

“He would spend hours dragging people around the lake,” Callie said. “He was there every weekend in the summer.”

Sullivan served on Colgate’s alumni council, endowed a scholarship for his fraternity and received a service award from the school in 2008, according to the college’s website. His daughter Jessie is now a freshman there, Lombard said.


Tighe Sullivan and William Ellsworth moved in different circles but shared a gusto for life and golf, their families said.

Ellsworth, an American Airlines pilot for 19 years, piloted a helicopter in his part-time work for a New Jersey-based charter service.

Sullivan, founder and chief operating officer of a New York City-based investment management firm, was a doting father of three, active in charitable causes in his hometown of Darien, Conn.

Theirs were separate, passion-filled lives connected in death.

Sullivan was one of two passengers on their way back from a golf outing when the Bell model 407 chopper Ellsworth was piloting hit rough weather Tuesday night and attempted to land at Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.

The helicopter crashed in the woods off Interstate 380, the front of the chopper first hitting a tree, then the ground and ultimately landing on its side, authorities said.

Ellsworth and Sullivan, seated in the front, were killed. A rear-seat passenger, Stephen Barral of Bernardsville, N.J., survived, though he was critically injured.

Barral has worked for W.H. Mell Associates, a municipal bond brokerage in Summit, N.J., since 2011, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. He is also listed as a managing member of Gulfstream Capital Management, a hedge fund run that manages about $325 million in assets, records show. Prior to that, he was head of U.S. convertible bond sales at Barclay's Capital.

Flying and golf

Ellsworth's love of family was unmatched, said family member Tim Fleischer. Ellsworth spent as much time as he could with family, given that he was a commercial pilot.

Fleischer said Ellsworth, 52, of Califon, N.J., was married for 23 years to his wife, Trish. They had two children, Eliza, 18, and Harry, 15.

"If there were passions in his life outside of family, it was flying and golf," Fleischer said.

Ellsworth got his pilot's license when he was 21, said Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen.

"American Airlines is saddened to learn of the death of First Officer William "Will" Ellsworth, who had been a pilot with American for 19 years," the company said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Will's family and the others affected by this tragedy."

'Just loved life'

Callie Sullivan described her late husband as "one of the most gregarious, fun-loving, generous people I have ever known. There will be hundreds of people who will agree with that."

She described him as a "ball of fire" who was involved in numerous charitable causes in his community.

"He just loved life. He loved every second of it. He was full of energy," she said.

He described her husband as a "Renaissance man" with an appetite for all things outdoors and nature, including hiking, skiing and golfing.

"He was happiest when he was on the move and when was with his children," two girls ages 18 and 17, and a son, 15, said Callie Sullivan, who met her husband on a blind date set up by one of her girlfriends and one of his fraternity brothers. They were married 24 years.

Sullivan had a career in finance.

Before he founded the investment management firm of WCAS Fraser Sullivan, he was a managing director in high yield at Deutsche Bank from 2000-05, according to the company's website.

While at Deutsche Bank, he marketed 600 new issues representing $185 billion of high-yield bonds and bridge financings. He previously held numerous other posts with other financial firms after starting his career at Chase Manhattan in 1983.



The victims in the helicopter crash outside of Mount Pocono have been identified by Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen. The two men killed were William Ellsworth, 52, of Califon, N.J., the pilot of the helicopter, and Tighe Sullivan, 51, of Darien, Conn., the front-seat passenger.

Stephen Barral, of Bernardsville, N.J., who was in the backseat, is listed in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

The group was returning from a golf outing and headed toward the metro New York area, police said this morning. Shortly before the crash Tuesday night, the chopper dropped off a passenger in Wilkes-Barre, according to Pocono Mountain Regional Police.

The chopper, which had been returning from an outing in Elmira, N.Y., got lost in bad weather and was attempting to land at Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.

A truck driver reported seeing a chopper flying above I-380 shortly before it crashed. The wreckage was discovered about 100 feet from the road in the woods near Mount Pocono this morning.

A report of a missing helicopter reached police around 10 p.m. Tuesday but an initial search turned up nothing.

When Barral, the surviving passenger, called for help on a cell phone, the U.S. Air Force and the Monroe County Control Center were able to rely on GPS technology to hone in on the crash site. It is not clear how long Barral was in the woods alone. The wreckage was found around 2 a.m.

Allen pronounced Ellsworth and Sullivan dead at 4:20 a.m.

The front of the chopper hit a tree, then the ground and landed on its side, Allen said.

The Bell model 407 chopper is registerd to ACS Helicopter LLC in Far Hills, N.J. Efforts to reach the company this morning were unsuccessful. Ellsworth was a part-time employee for company.

Allen said Ellsworth obtained his pilot’s license at age 21 and was a pilot for American Airlines in his full-time role.

Lewis said he did not know if the $2.3 million chopper was equipped with a weather radar. He said it did not have a so-called “orange box” that would have recorded flight information.

Helicopters are equipped with orange boxes while airplanes are outfitted with black boxes to record such information.

Authorities were awaiting the arrival of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board from northern Virginia to arrive at the crash site, which was about a mile from Mount Pocono.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

One person has survived a helicopter crash Tuesday night in the woods off Interstate 380 in Coolbaugh Township. Two people were confirmed dead at the scene, according to Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen.

Allen said the surviving passenger, a male, was in the back seat of the helicopter. He was taken to Pocono Medical Center. The extent of his injuries are not known.

According to authorities on scene, the helicopter went down around 8 p.m. Tuesday, prompting a search involving multiple agencies, including the U.S. Air Force.

Agencies used cell phone pinging technology to locate the helicopter.

A Pocono Mountain Regional policeman actually located the wreckage of the helicopter around 2 this morning.

The red helicopter was torn apart in the heavily wooded area, approximately 100 feet into the woods from mile marker 5.7 of Interstate 380 south.

Coolbaugh Fire department is on scene, putting up high powered lights to aid emergency crews.
Crews are now awaiting the arrival of Federal Aviation Agency officials.

It is unknown at this time where the helicopter took off from, but the victims are not local, authorities said.
COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP — Two people are dead after a helicopter crash in Monroe County.

State police tell Newswatch 16 the helicopter went down around 8 p.m. Tuesday off Interstate 380 in Coolbaugh Township.

Authorities said they located the chopper before 3 a.m. Wednesday using G.P.S. devices.

“I think the police were fortunate enough to have the federal government ping the phones, that they had cell phones and they were able to ping the phones and come up with this location,” said Monroe County coroner Bob Allen.

Authorities believe the helicopter took off from upstate New York and was possibly heading to New Jersey.

One person survived the crash and was taken to the hospital.

People in the area said there was heavy fog in the area Tuesday night. It is not known if that was a factor in the crash.

FAA investigators are at the crash scene conducting the investigation.

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