August 19, 2022
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NTSB finds Jim Clayton was at fault in fatal Tennessee River helicopter crash


Jim Clayton, founding father of Clayton Properties, was at fault in a helicopter crash that killed his brother in August 2020, in line with a remaining report by the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.

The precise trigger was an aerodynamic phenomenon referred to as vortex ring and Clayton’s “incapacity to arrest the helicopter’s descent whereas maneuvering for touchdown,” in line with the report.

Clayton, who was 86 on the time of the crash, was trying to land a Eurocopter EC130 on his property alongside the Tennessee River in Knoxville when the crash occurred Aug. 3, 2020.

Jim Clayton’s brother, Joe Clayton, drowned following the crash into the river, the report states. Jim and two different passengers escaped with out accidents.

The Plane Homeowners and Pilots Affiliation explains vortex ring can occur when “a helicopter descends at a price that places the blades in their very own downwash.”

“As a substitute of drawing clear air from above the blades, some disturbed air begins to journey up via the blades,” in line with the affiliation.

In Clayton’s case, the vortex ring occurred when he “descended steeply with little ahead airspeed” after which utilized energy to cease the descent, the report states.

Robert Katz, a industrial pilot and flight teacher from Dallas with greater than 40 years of expertise, beforehand reviewed the preliminary NTSB report on the request of Knox Information. Emphasizing he was utilizing solely the data he gleaned from the report, Katz shared his evaluation.

“When (vortex ring) occurs, the helicopter won’t have sufficient energy to beat this vicious cycle, and the helicopter will then settle from its present place to a decrease altitude – on this case, into the river,” Katz stated.

Katz advised Knox Information he doesn’t personally pilot helicopters, however this phenomenon is widespread information within the piloting world.

“It’s one thing that every one helicopter pilots can be educated to acknowledge and likewise educated to mitigate with an applicable motion as to fly out of the realm of disturbed air,” he stated.

Jim Clayton issued a press release within the days after the crash saying he was “devastated and fully heartbroken by the lack of my fantastic brother, Joe.”

The helicopter went down within the water close to his house on Lake View Drive.

Jim’s grandson Flynt Griffin and Knoxville businessman John McBride have been the opposite two passengers on board. All three survivors have been rescued by a close-by pontoon boat.

No indicators of “preimpact failure or mechanical malfunction” have been discovered in the course of the NTSB’s investigation.

This text initially appeared on Knoxville Information Sentinel: NTSB: Jim Clayton at fault in deadly Tennessee River helicopter crash

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