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Helicopter Crash Kills Williamsburg Woman, Pilot

On July 8, 2018, a helicopter crashed into a Williamsburg townhouse, killing the pilot and a 91-year-old Williamsburg woman.

The crash occurred just before 5 p.m. Killed in the crash was 91-year-old Jean Lonchak Danylko. The helicopter crashed between the front and back areas of the condo building. The crash also ignited a large fire that firefighters battled for hours.

The body of the pilot was recovered in the hours following he crash.

Neighbors said Danylko was very self-sufficient and an active member of the Williamsburg community.

National Transportation Safety Board records show that the helicopter is Henry Schwarz, which was confirmed. The crash occurred about four minutes after Schwarz took off from the Williamsburg-James City County airport. Schwarz is the president of the Virginia Helicopter Association. He was also a commercial pilot and a U.S. Army helicopter pilot who served in the Vietnam War.

A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be completed in 10-14 days. The NTSB will release a final report on the cause in 12 to 24 months. According to the NTSB, in 2018 there have been 11 crashes involving R44 helicopters in the United States. Three of those crashes were fatal.

The helicopter, a Robinson R44, has been the subject of a few lawsuits in the United states regarding similar low energy crashes that resulted in post-crash fires.

At Kalfus Nachman, PC, we are dedicated to helping our community stay safe. If you or a loved one have been involved in an aviation accident and were injured, don’t hesitate to call our experienced personal injury attorneys. We are ready to fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.