Shocking Footage Captures Moment Plane Collided With Helicopter in St. Barts
Saint Barthelemy Island, commonly called St. Barts, is an overseas collectivity of France. With an area of less than 10 square miles, its small but busy airport is consistently listed as one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Its landing runway is just over 640 meters long.
An Air Antilles plane collided with a helicopter while landing at St. Barts airport in the Caribbean, shocking onlookers and injuring one person.
No fatalities were reported in the crash, which involved seven people and the injury was reported as minor.
The crash involved a five-year-old DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprop plane capable of carrying 19 passengers. It was scheduled to depart Pointe-a-Pitre towards St. Barts at 10:40 a.m. local time, a 143-mile flight.
Around 11:42 a.m. local time, the plane landed on runway 28 and according to flight tracking data, successfully touched down on the correct section of the runway. Due to currently unknown issues, the plane then drifted left off of the runway, over a grassy patch and then onto the apron where it struck the helicopter.
Both vehicles suffered significant damage, with the plane losing a wing and the helicopter being pushed on its side. No one was in the helicopter at the time of the crash.
St. Barts’ Gustaf III Airport is known for its dangerous take-offs and landings, with runway 10 being particularly notorious because it requires the pilot to perform a quick dip right before landing to avoid a nearby hill. However, runway 28, while still considered difficult, has far fewer accidents.
The plane was also already on the ground and there was only a minor crosswind at the time. The runway was temporarily closed to flights but has since reopened. The French civil aviation authority, the Directorate General for Civil Aviation, has opened an investigation into the crash.
According to airline and travel blog One Mile at a Time
, Air Antilles is a well-regarded airline and has experience flying into and out of St. Barts’ airport. However, it states the airline only has one plane capable of landing at St. Barts - the one involved in the crash. However, flights to St. Barts’ are still advertised on the carrier’s website.