NTSB discovers Jim Creighton has made a mistake in a fatal crash of a helicopter on the Tennessee River


Jim Creighton, the founder of Clayton Holmes, Helicopter crash According to the final report of the National Transportation Safety Board, he killed his brother in August 2020.

According to the report, the exact causes were an aerodynamic phenomenon known as a vortex state and Clayton’s “unable to stop the helicopter’s descent while maneuvering for landing.”

Clayton, 86 at the time of the crash, was about to land the Eurocopter EC130 on his property along the Tennessee River in Knoxville when the crash occurred on August 3, 2020.

Jim Creighton’s brother, Joe Clayton, Drowned following a crash into the river, the report said. Jim and the other two passengers escaped without injury.

Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association I will explain the state of the vortex ring It can occur if the helicopter descends at a speed that puts the blade in its own downwash.

According to the association, “instead of sucking clean air over the blade, turbulent air begins to rise through the blade.”

In the case of Clayton, the vortex ring condition occurred when he “suddened with little forward airspeed” and then powered to stop the descent, the report said.

Robert Katz, a Dallas commercial pilot and flight instructor with over 40 years of experience, has previously reviewed the NTSB’s preliminary report at the request of Knox News. Katz shared the analysis, emphasizing that he uses only the information collected from the report.

“When (vorticity) occurs, the helicopter does not have enough power to overcome this virtuous circle, and the helicopter settles at a lower altitude from its current position, in this case the river,” Katz said. ..

Katz told Knox News that he didn’t fly a helicopter personally, but this phenomenon is common knowledge in the world of maneuvering.

“It will be trained to be recognizable to all helicopter pilots and to mitigate with proper action to jump out of turbulent air areas,” he said.

Jim Creighton issued a statement a few days after the crash, stating, “I was devastated by the broken heart of my wonderful brother, Joe, and I was completely broken.”

The helicopter sank in the sea near his home on Lake View Drive.

Jim’s grandson Flint Griffin and Knoxville businessman Jon McBride were two other passengers. All three survivors were rescued by a nearby pontoon boat.

The NTSB’s investigation found no signs of “pre-impact failure or mechanical malfunction”.

This article was originally published in Knoxville News Sentinel: NTSB: Jim Creighton negligent in a fatal crash of a helicopter on the Tennessee River