Pilot Weighs-in on Bloomsburg Fair Helicopter Crash

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BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The investigation into why a helicopter crashed into a parking lot at the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday continues.  

We now know the names of the three people who were on board. The pilot is Kenneth Cordrey Of Delmar Delaware. He remains hospitalized in stable condition. And the passengers are 42-year old Jennifer Zielewicz of trout run and 33-year old Maria Portalatin of Williamsport.

Both have been released from the hospital. 

  We are learning about the unique challenges of piloting a helicopter.

     The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick talked with a local pilot.

  “I think the pilot did a pretty good job. It was an emergency landing he hadn’t planned on that.” Said Mike Marsicano from Hazleton.  He has been a pilot since 1968. His resume includes flying for the Pennsylvania State Police and Commercial Airlines. He is basing his opinion from pictures he has seen of the crash..

  “It could have been a lot worse than it was. So i think the pilot did an outstanding job getting the helicopter back on the ground.”

Marsicano showed us his Bell Jet Ranger helicopter he now uses to fly tourists at venues in different parts of the country.

  “So, helicopters have a little bit different physics about them. A helicopter when you lose power a helicopter is going to descend at the same angle a sliding board does in a playground..”

And that does not allow for a lot of time to take actions that could mean the difference between life and death.

  “The pilot is always looking at performance. How much weight can he carry? How much fuel does he need to do what he has to do and get back.”

 Marsciano says flying at fairs like Bloomsburg presents all types of concerns and potential distractions.  

“There are a lot of things going on for that pilot flying out of Bloomsburg. How many people are in the helicopter much weight? The prevailing winds- winds on the nose change all the time,” said Marsicano.

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