Pilot Error, Weather Eyed in Korean S-92 Crash

 - July 22, 2008, 11:30 AM

A botched emergency landing instigated by bad weather appears to have brought down a twin-engine Sikorsky S-92A carrying the 88-year-old Rev. Sun Myung Moon and 15 others. The medium-twin helicopter crashed 25 miles east of Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday. Three onboard sustained severe injuries, while Moon and six others received minor injuries. The helicopter clipped trees and crashed onto a hillside on approach to a helipad near Gapyeong in heavy rain and poor visibility. Moon and his entourage safely evacuated before a post-crash fire consumed the S-92. Moon’s Unification Church owns a number of U.S. businesses, including United Press International and The Washington Times. Sikorsky delivered the first S-92 in 2004. Currently, 67 of the medium twin helicopters are in service in a variety of executive, utility and search-and-rescue configurations. The fleet has amassed more than 100,000 hours. This was the first accident involving the type, though a UK-registered S-92 suffered an incident in April last year when its tail rotor pivot bearing separated in flight. That helicopter made a safe precautionary landing.