In the recent tragic occurrence, a Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue helicopter, N108BC, crashed into an apartment building on August 28. According to the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the pilot noted an escalating temperature in one of the engines, followed by the illumination of the engine fire button during the initial climb out of the airport and just moments before the crash.

Expert analysis and insight on the case has been provided by Mr. Chris Rusing to the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a recent article. Mr. Rusing is airline captain and attorney at the Aviation Law Group.

Rusing highlights the pressing questions surrounding of the fire suppression system, as well as the root cause of the engine catching fire in the first place. He points out that the NTSB will most likely investigate a potential failure of an internal engine part or a maintenance-related issue that could have initiated the tragic chain of events.

“There’s always multiple things that have to go wrong for an airplane to crash or a helicopter to crash,” Rusing said. “It’s very, very rare that one failure in itself will cause an accident. It appears in this case there’s several links in the chain.”

Chris Rusing, NTSB releases report on BSO Fire Rescue helicopter crash (

Mr. Rusing also emphasizes the unusual nature of the tailboom failure, often not a consequence of an engine fire, indicating that the NTSB will delve deeper into understanding the factors leading to this failure alongside the primary engine fire investigation. The intensity of the crash engulfed most of the helicopter’s frame, further complicating the analysis.

Sadly, the crash claimed the lives of Battalion Chief Terryson Jackson and resident Lurean Wheaton, leaving a deep void in the community. The incident has since spurred county officials into action, earmarking substantial funds for the acquisition of a new twin-engine Airbus H145, as part of a broader plan to overhaul the existing fleet, which had been noted for safety concerns and escalating maintenance costs as per a 2017 report.

In the midst of this tragedy, it is vital for those affected to seek expert guidance and support. The Aviation Law Group stands ready to assist in navigating the complexities of aviation accident cases, with a team led by professionals like Mr. Rusing, who bring both aviation and legal expertise to the table. If you or someone you know has been impacted by this incident, we urge you to reach out to the Aviation Law Group for comprehensive legal assistance.

Aviation Law Group is a national law firm that limits its practice to handling only aviation accident cases, and attorney Christopher Rusing is licensed in both State and Federal Courts in the State of Florida and Washington State.

Full text of the NTSB Report Follows: