Lawmaker Shares Survival Story - NBC Connecticut

Lawmaker Shares Survival Story

"I think my flying days have come to an end."

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    State Rep. Bill Wadsworth was behind the controls when his helicopter crashed not far from his home in Farmington.

    Just three days after suffering just bumps and bruises, he was back at work with his colleagues at the Capitol.

    "It was a beautiful day on Saturday afternoon and we decided to see what Long Island Sound looked like," Wadsworth recounted.

    The freshman state representative is an experienced pilot. His girlfriend Irene Van, was in the passenger seat.

    "There was some sort of upset in my normal path as I was coming in for a landing and the helicopter started to spin out of control," he said.

    That’s when Wadsworth’s instincts and training kicked in.

    "Within the seconds that this happened there was no time for being afraid of it, it was just trying to get a hold of the aircraft," he said. "Ended up spinning at a high rate of rotation almost immediately, it happened so fast."

    Luckily he was able to land the helicopter upright after falling through the trees and barely missing some power lines.

    Once on the ground, Wadsworth smelled fuel in the air. He knew he had to act fast.

    He unlocked Van out of her seat. She suffered a back injury.

    "Just picked her out of there and carried her away from the machine," he said.

    Wadsworth’s love for aviation began with hot air balloons in the 1970’s and then began flying helicopters in the early 90’s.

    He’s not sure what happened to his helicopter, but he does know one thing.

    "I think my flying days have come to an end," Wadsworth said. "I'm happy to keep my two feet on the ground."