Helicopter crashes near Westby - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Helicopter crashes near Westby

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Photo courtesy Roger Staffaroni Photo courtesy Roger Staffaroni
Westby, WI (WXOW) - -

Westby Police identify the pilot of a helicopter that crashed into a field near Westby Monday afternoon.

Chief David Jefson said Jonathan F. Wanda, 27, of Harvard, Illinois, was at the controls when the helicopter he was flying hit a power line with the tail rotor of the aircraft around 1:15 p.m. 

The rotor was snapped off which caused the helicopter to spin around and eventually crash into a field along Highway 14/61 by Westby.

Wanda, who was spraying agricultural chemicals onto a field, was not injured in the crash. He was taken by ambulance to Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua as a precaution. 

Both the Westby Police and FAA are investigating the crash.

According to the FAA registry, the 1996 Robinson helicopter is owned by MF Helicopters and Spraying Service based in East Troy, Wisconsin. 


A small helicopter has crashed in a field near Westby.

The crash happened at around 1:15 p.m. west of Highway 14/61 between the road and a subdivision coming into the city.

An eyewitness tells News 19 that he saw something fall from the helicopter. It then spun around a few times, followed by a loud boom, then came down hard in the field.

Westby Police Sgt. Scott Stuber told News 19 that witnesses saw the helicopter hit some power lines which snapped off the tail rotor, sent it into a spin, and then crashed into a field. 

As police arrived on the scene, the pilot was walking away and said he was fine. He was taken from the scene by ambulance to Vernon Memorial as a precaution. 

According to the FAA registry, the 1996 Robinson helicopter is owned by MF Helicopters and Spraying Service based in East Troy, Wisconsin. 

The FAA has been notified of the crash and will conduct their own investigation. 

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