Gyrocopter Crash Kills 1 in Billings

An elderly man died Wednesday after his experimental gyrocopter failed midair and crashed. The gyrocopter crash took place in a hangar facility at the Billings Logan International Airport.

Billings Police reported that an emergency call was received shortly before 1 p.m. by an eye witness who reported a crash at the west side of Billings Logan International Airport. The private hangar was empty when Billings Police arrived to investigate. No other person was involved in the gyocopter crash.

Airport Director Kevin Ploehn described the gyrocopter as an “experimental RW-1 helicopter” in a press release and said, “Details are still being sorted out as there were no witnesses to the incident.”

The gyrocopter crash victim was later identified as Robert Coons, 74, of Billings. Coons died from several blunt force trauma caused by the crash. Investigators with Billings Police do not believe drugs nor alcohol are to blame for the crash.

Coons appears to be the owner, manufacturer, and operator of the gyrocopter. Billings Police is still investigating the incident.

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