Man Who Died in Helicopter Crash was Queensbury Business Owner

Aug. 10, 2021

Aug. 10—ARGYLE — One of the victims in Saturday's fatal helicopter crash was a Queensbury business owner who lacked the proper license to fly that type of aircraft.

Craig E. Seeley owned Seeley Machine Inc. on Big Boom Road in Queensbury.

The company manufactures a variety of parts for various industries involved with aerospace, steam and gas turbines, paper and pulp, and medical equipment, according to its website.

A person who answered the phone on Monday morning said the company had no comment.

Seeley died after his Experimental Seeley 162F helicopter went down in a wooded area off West Valley Road in Argyle at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Also killed in the crash was his daughter, 34-year-old Katie M. Seeley, also of Argyle.

No one on the ground was injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. When asked Monday if Seeley had filed a flight plan, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said that is part of the investigation.

He also said there is no confirmation on where the helicopter was coming from or where it was headed. Authorities are also reviewing any radio or air traffic communications.

Holloway said it could take one to two years before the final report is released.

Seeley was issued a private pilot certificate in October 2000. However, it is only for a single-engine airplane and not for a helicopter, according to the Federal Aviation Administration database.

In addition, the section where medical information is supposed to be listed is blank.

Also, the helicopter is a "kit" aircraft, which means that the owner assembled it himself from parts. It has been in operation since 2003. Katz said that is a long time to be flying that type of aircraft without the proper license.

Seeley also is the listed owner of a fixed wing single-engine Glasair RG plane.

A staging area appeared to have been set up at the NV Farms Camping and Glamping property at 905 West Valley Road. There was a black SUV with a government license plate parked there. A Google Earth satellite image shows a wooded area northeast of the road.

Craig Seeley owned property at 319 Miller Road, which is located up a twisting private road near Summit Lake. It is about 6 miles away from the crash site and about the same distance from Argyle Airport.

Airport manager Gene Feher said he believes Seeley used to fly out of the airport, but it has been five or six years since Seeley has been there. He has not seen him since he has been manager, Feher said.

Feher said he did not know if the airport was Seeley's intended destination. He had not filed a flight plan, which is not required in this case.

"This is a public-use, private airport. Anybody can land here if they want," he said.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or [email protected].


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