Joliet, IL Air Show Helicopter Crash, Sep 1980
THREE KILLED IN HELICOPTER CRASH.
Joliet, Ill. (UPI) -- A Marine helicopter performing at an air show stalled for a split second, catapulted to the ground and burst into flames, killing three servicemen and seriously injuring another, police said.
Several thousand people at the Joliet Park District Airport's 50th anniversary celebration Sunday witnessed the accident, but all were more than a half mile from the crash site.
The UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, stationed at Glenview Naval Air Station, stalled as it pulled up sharply from a low highspeed pass, witnesses said. A rear rotor touched the ground and the copter flipped over and exploded on impact in a grassy field.
"It was on a maneuver at the east end of the airfield, going straight up when it seemed to stall," one witness recalled. "It came down and started skipping across the field and, in the process, started breaking apart."
Two of the four servicemen on board were dead at the scene, police said. The other two were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition, but one died 2 1/2 hours later.
Marine Maj. Joseph Hutton said police and firefighters crawled underneath the twisted wreckage and cut a hole through the bottom of the craft to reach the victims because the doors were jammed. Charred pieces of metal were strewn about the field.
Officials identified the fatalities as DAVID PETERSON, 35, of Missouri, WAYNE P. DUNLAP and LARRY BOGDAN. Their hometowns were not immediately available.
DAVID RENDER, 33, of Mount Prospect, Ill., was in critical condition today, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Officials said all four men suffered multiple head and internal injuries.
Military officials have not determined the cause of the crash, and pilot error has not been ruled out, Hutton said.
Biddeford Journal Maine 1980-09-22