911 Call Released; Sweetwater Issues Statement on CEO's Helicopter Crash

By Maureen Mespell
By Mary Collins
By Scott Sarvay

November 4, 2011 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 6:44 PM EDT

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Five business people and their pilot Chuck Surack, CEO of Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, walked away from a helicopter crash in Noblesville, Indiana Thursday evening.

Friday morning Sweetwater Sound issued the following statement:

"As news outlets recently reported, on the evening of Thursday, November 3rd, Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack was piloting his Eurocopter EC 130 Helicopter, with five friends on board, when it encountered severe and unexpected weather and was forced to make a difficult, but controlled landing in a cornfield near Noblesville, Indiana.

After the landing, everyone was out of the aircraft and a safe distance away before the helicopter eventually caught fire. Neither Mr. Surack, nor any of the other five passengers were seriously injured, or even taken to the hospital.

Sweetwater employees were informed of the incident early this morning. They were concerned, but relieved to learn that everyone was safe and that Mr. Surack returned to work by mid-morning.

Sweetwater and Mr. Surack are humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of kind and concerned comments.

Mr. Surack would like to express his gratitude for the professional and immediate response by the fire, police, and EMS employees in the Noblesville area."

The helicopter was flying from Fort Wayne to Indianapolis and had tried to land at the Noblesville Airport but was unsuccessful. The Euro Copter EC 130 then crash landed in a field around 6:15 p.m.

The FAA and Noblesville Police Department are investigating the cause of the crash.

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Here's a portion of a 911 transcript describing Thursday night's helicopter crash.

Dispatcher: Okay tell me exactly what happened.

Caller: A helicopter has crashed behind my house. There was an accident. We saw the helicopter go down. There's a cornfield behind my house.

Dispatcher: Okay, hold on one second. I actually have the police department on the way.

Caller: Okay I'll stand out front so they can see where cause it's a little bit down from me.

Dispatcher: Okay, and it has crashed?

Caller: They think it crashed. We see it from the side view. Yeah guys did it... (Get the fire extinguisher!) Oh they want the fire extinguisher. It's underneath there if we have one. Underneath my sink. Yes it's on fire, they're asking for a fire extinguisher.




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