4th Schweizer 269c Helicopter Crash This Year Claims Life of Country Superstar Troy Gentry

September 12, 2017
Abram I. Bohrer

The aviation accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman are monitoring the events surrounding the untimely death of country superstar Troy Gentry on Friday, September 8th. The popular vocalist and guitarist was aboard a Schweizer 269c helicopter, registration number N2091E, which crashed just before 1 p.m at the Flying W Airport in Medford, N.J. Both Gentry and the pilot were lost in the tragic accident. The helicopter accident lawyers at Bohrer & Lukeman are closely following the circumstances that lead to this dark day for the world of country music.

Gentry, 50, was set to perform that night at the Flying W Airport & Resort as half of the celebrated country duo Montgomery Gentry. At approximately 12:30 p.m. E.T., just a few short hours before the concert was scheduled to begin, Gentry took off in the light utility helicopter with pilot James Evan Robinson, 30, of Meigs, Georgia. Robinson had recently moved to Medford to work as a helicopter pilot at Helicopter Flight Services, the flight school associated with the airport. The Schweizer 269c helicopter belonged to the school.

Disaster quickly struck moments after take off, when Robinson radioed air traffic control to let them know the helicopter was experiencing a mechanical emergency.

According to Police Chief Richard Meder of Medford Township, local police received an urgent call about a “helicopter that was distressed” at 12:40 p.m. Emergency responders were sent to the airport, but in a stroke of ill-timing, arrived just as the helicopter hurtled in a freefall towards the ground.

“Shortly after our arrival the helicopter did go down,” said Meder. “It went into a field south of the airport.”

Gentry was removed from the crash site and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Responders toiled for hours to remove Robinson’s lacerated body, trapped inside the wreckage.

Eddie Montgomery, the other half of Montgomery Gentry, was present at Flying W Airport at the time of the crash, but had chosen to stay on the ground. According to NJ.com, the flight was an “”impromptu, spur of the moment” ride.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that Troy Gentry, half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry, was tragically killed in a helicopter crash which took place at approximately 1:00pm today in Medford, New Jersey,” read a statement from Montgomery Gentry’s official Twitter account. “Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers, and asks for privacy at this time.”

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are onsite at Flying W Airport to conduct an official investigation into the crash. Since beginning the investigation, the NTSB has determined that the root cause of the disaster was due to engine failure.

The Schweizer 269c rotorcraft helicopter with reciprocating engine involved in the accident was manufactured in 2002. The S-300 series of helicopters, originally produced by Hughes Helicopters before Schweizer assumed their manufacture, are 3-bladed single rotor and piston-powered aircrafts designed primarily for use in agriculture and flight-training. According to the NTSB Aviation Accident Database, this was the 11th fatal helicopter accident in the United States this year.

It is also the 4th crash to involved a Schweizer 269c helicopter since February, with nonfatal accidents occurring in Florida, Arizona, and Minnesota.

Gentry was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on April 5th, 1967, where he formed the group Montgomery Gentry with friend and fellow musician Montgomery in 1999. The duo released six studio albums, with 5 singles reaching the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Their hit “Gone” was country radio’s most-played song by a duo in 2005.

The helicopter accident attorneys at Bohrer & Lukeman will continue to follow the details surrounding the fatal Troy Gentry helicopter crash and will update this website with any new information as it is released. Bohrer & Lukeman is an aviation accident law-firm with over 25 years of representing those injured or killed in general and commercial aviation accidents. Aviation lawyer Abe Bohrer, founder of the New York-based law firm, has successfully represented the victims of both general and commercial aviation accidents, domestically and internationally.