Photo Info

Enstrom 280FX helicopter crashes as it leaves European Rotors trade show in Madrid

By Oliver Johnson | December 1, 2023

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 10 seconds.

The aircraft came to rest on the median between two streams of traffic on a major highway. Still image taken from an Emergencias Madrid Video

An Enstrom 280FX helicopter has crashed into a highway shortly after leaving the European Rotors trade show in Madrid, Spain, injuring two on board and a third on the ground.

The aircraft crashed just 2,100 feet (650) meters from the trade show departure point, and according to information from Flightaware, was in the air for less than a minute.

Images from the crash scene showed the aircraft lying on its side in two pieces, with the tail boom bent underneath the cockpit. It came to rest on the median strip of the M40, between the two bands of highway.

According to Emergencias Madrid — the City of Madrid’s Emergency Information Office — one of those on board the aircraft was able to walk away from the crash, while the other was removed by firefighters. Both were taken to hospital: one with mild head trauma, the other with a possible femur fracture.

The two on board the helicopter were injured, as well as a third person on the ground. Still image taken from Emergencias Madrid Video

A third person — the driver of a vehicle traveling on the road — is being treated for “small cuts,” the Emergency Information Office said.

The 280FX had been on display at the European Rotors trade show all week, which had been held in the IFEMA Madrid exhibition center, on the outskirts of the city near to the airport. The aircraft was the centerpiece of the Enstrom booth, with the manufacturer exhibiting at the event for the first time since its purchase by U.S. entreprenuer Chuck Surack.

The aircraft took off from the IFEMA Madrid exhibition center (right circle) and crashed onto the M40 highway (left circle). It went through the center of the roundabout onto the road underneath. Google Earth Image

Enstrom had declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2022, but was bought by Surack just a few months later. He arrived with heavy investment and a plan to re-invigorate the Menominee, Michigan-based manufacturer.

Enstrom has built more than 1,300 aircraft over the decades, and over 760 are still flying today.

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