More detail on this person: Civilian helicopter mid-air in Arizona. 114 AHC people say it was an accident in Gulf of Mexico. Investigator says sun blinded 'copter pilots MONTEGUT - The pilots of two helicopters that smashed into each other over the marsh about four miles southeast of here Jan. 3 were probably blinded by the sun at the time, an investigator said Monday. A lone pilot, Steven D. Gilbaugh, of Shreveport, was traveling from Houma to Grand Isle. Another pilot, Carroll Reeves, 45, of Lafayette, had left Morgan City for Venice with three passengers. Their flight paths crossed over the marsh near the Lafourche Parish side of Pointe-aux-Chenes. Both aircraft were generally headed southeast into the sun when they collided, National Transportation Safety Board air safety inspector Frank Roth said. Gilbaugh died; Reeves suffered a compressed spine and the three passengers escaped serious injury. The survivors were luckier than Gilbaugh, Roth said, because their helicopter remained intact longer after rotor blades on the two craft tangled. Reeves' helicopter was at a lower altitude when the main rotor blade came off and it began tumbling to the soft mud below and its fall was cushioned because it landed "in a somewhat upright position," Roth said. The other helicopter lost its rotor at a greater height and "just tumbled on down," the investigator said. The intersecting flight paths likely were not noticed because shuttle helicopter flight paths are filed with the aircraft's office and the aircraft are not under the control of any airport towers, he said.
Burial information: West Lawn Cemetery, Gering, NE
This information was last updated 05/22/2018
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 11/02/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association