North Carolina HUP Crash

Late one summer afternoon, one of Grosse Ile's helicopters crashed in North Carolina. Morris Bertsch was flying with pilot Lcdr. Canjenmi, a reservist on weekend training. In early afternoon they were in Fayetteville North Carolina when the aircraft began shaking severely and started to lose lift. Flying at only 800 feet Canjenmi put it into auto rotation and crash landed  safely on the Rockefeller Estate. Upon inspection they discovered a chunk of one rotor blade had broken away. Almost all the blades were cracked longitudinally along the leading edge. It was never determined what caused the piece to separate or the other cracks although the sever shaking that occurred in flight may have contributed to the longitudinal crack of the other rotor blades. With the exception of the rotor blades, the aircraft sustained no further damage.

Here is the crash site with the helicopter sitting in a field on the Rockefeller Estate.


The crack along the leading edged of the rotor is seen clearly as well as where a piece broke away from it. All other rotor blades had similar cracks along the leading edges but no pieces had separated from them.

In early evening, Lcdr. Canjenmi left and Morris Bertsch stepping out from the airplane greet their transportation with smiles.


They say into each life some rain must fall. But, when you fall from the air humor is called for. So Chief Philip Gagnon presented this to Morris Bertsch when he arrived back at the base.


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Revised: January 28, 2010