Airport: Bristol Common pilot's aircraft, possessions on the auction block after crash

Staff writer

Just more than six months after a helicopter crash in Williamsburg killed two people, including pilot Henry Schwarz, Schwarz’s aircraft hangars at Stafford Regional Airport in Fredericksburg are on the auction block.

In an online auction that opened Jan. 18, Schwarz’s property from three leased hangars at the airport is up for sale, according to Stafford Regional Airport Manager Ed Wallis.

Schwarz died on July 8 after the helicopter he piloted crashed into a 10-unit residential complex in Williamsburg. A 91-year-old resident of the Bristol Commons complex died as a result.

Months later, a letter from the helicopter’s insurer to homeowners of the complex denied insurance coverage for the crash and said Schwarz had been flying illegally.

“Based on our investigation … that insurance coverage … including all claims for injuries damages, and losses related thereto that are or may be asserted by your client and/or by any third parties, is hereby denied,” stated the letter obtained by The Virginia Gazette.

Schwarz’s caretaker said he had health problems, including Parkinson’s disease, which would have required the FAA to decide whether he was fit to fly.

Since his death, his estate has had to be inventoried. In October, workers at Schwarz’s home in Fairfax County had already begun that work.

Schwarz’s hangars at the Stafford airport also were inventoried and prepared for auction, Wallis said.

“It’s kinda crazy,” Wallis said. “I have a feeling the plane will go for more money. I’ve never done one of these before.”

Everything in the hangars, from a mermaid bowsprit and aviator-themed teddy bear to an unfinished Seawind Turboprop 300 Seaplane, will be sold as-is at noon Feb. 8, according to the online auction website. There are 299 lots to be sold.

The highest priced item as of Thursday afternoon is the airplane at $2,600, followed by a golf cart at $1,105 and an 8-by-5-foot trailer at $355.

Bidders will be able to inspect the items before the auction on Feb. 7, according to the online auction website.

For more information on the auction go to bit.ly/2HrMzI8.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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