Pilot and Woman, 91, Were Killed When a Helicopter Hit a Williamsburg Townhouse
Police have revealed the identity of a 91-year-old woman killed when a helicopter hit a Williamsburg townhouse over the weekend. The body of the pilot was also recovered from the scene.
We were saddened to read about the death of Jean Lonchak Danylko, who was an active member of the Williamsburg community. The chopper hit a 10-unit building in the Bristol Commons neighborhood of Williamsburg. It caused a serious fire which was not brought under control until hours after the impact.
According to media reports, an investigation is underway into what caused the helicopter to crash into the townhouse in Williamsburg on Sunday evening, killing both the pilot and a 91-year-old Williamsburg woman.
Doug Brazy with the National Transportation Safety Board said the body of the pilot of the R44 helicopter was recovered on Monday.
According to the tail number released Monday by the NTSB, the helicopter is registered to Henry Schwarz. No other people were on board the helicopter.
WAVY.com reported Schwarz is the president of the Virginia Helicopter Association. The channel reported an aviation source confirmed Schwarz was piloting the aircraft when the helicopter hit a Williamsburg townhouse.
Brazy confirmed the helicopter left Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport around 4:30 p.m. Its final destination is not known.
Charley Rogers, operator of the Williamsburg James City Airport confirmed that Henry Schwarz was the pilot of the chopper that crashed into the condominiums at Bristol Commons, the Daily Press reported.
Why Did a Helicopter hit a Williamsburg Townhouse?
It’s unclear what caused the helicopter to crash in Williamsburg but an investigation is underway. A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be completed in 10-14 days. People living near the crash scene reported the helicopter’s engine sounded strange before the crash.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya, of Virginia State Police, said:
“Right now we are working along with the FAA. We are getting information on aircraft that were taking off at certain times so that we can make a timeline accountable.”
Firefighters worked for several hours Sunday to extinguish the blaze that followed the crash.
The Red Cross plans to meet with residents impacted by the crash. At least 10 units were evacuated and more are expected to be impacted as heavy machinery moves in to clean up the wreckage.
Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible crash. It’s not clear if this incident was caused by mechanical error, pilot error or another factor. Often investigations into aviation accidents are complicated, thorough and lengthy.
If you have been injured in an aviation accident or lost a loved one, please call our Virginia personal injury lawyers at (757) 333-3333. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has client meeting locations on the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton and Newport News.