View Full Version : BJ Schramm has died!!!!
04-29-2004, 03:00 PM
Holy Crap! I just got this on my email. I am so sorry for his family and all of the rotorcraft world.
MONTOUR -- The Gem County Sheriff has released the identity of man
found dead Wednesday in the Payette River. He is 65-year-old John
Buford Schramm, a local business owner from Caldwell.
The helicopter's landing strut is all that can be seen from the
surface of the Payette River.
Schramm's single-person helicopter was found upside down in the
Payette River near Montour. He was still strapped into the chopper
when he was found. Montour is along state highway 52 between Emmett
and Horseshoe Bend.
Schramm, who was known as B.J. to his family and friends, was an
experienced helicopter pilot who had several near-death experiences
in these types of aircraft before. He operated a company called
Helicycle based out of Caldwell. According to their website,
helicycle.com, they sold and designed single-person helicopters.
Schramm also detailed several harrowing experiences in helicycles on
The helicycle was found in a remote part of the river and only the
landing struts were visible above the water.
The helicopter took off near the Montour Country Store around 4:30
p.m. and searchers looked for the aircraft last night until wind and
darkness forced them to suspend the search.
The owner of the store saw the helicopter take off Wednesday and
told NewsChannel 7 the pilot was there to take pictures of the
landscape and decided to go on one more flight.
"There was another helicopter with him that had another guy in it,
two guys in it, and one guy was filming, this little whirly bird
running around," said Bill Beatty, a friend of the pilot. "About two
in the afternoon I usually leave here and go into town, and he was
just getting ready to take off again by himself. The other
helicopter had gone back to Caldwell and that's about the last I saw
04-29-2004, 03:29 PM
That is very tragic and sad. My prayer go out to his family.
04-29-2004, 03:33 PM
This is truly tragedy. I've followed the progress of the helicycle since the beginning and have always been impressed by B.J.'s committment to his helicopters. He will be sorely missed by the homebuilt helicopter community.
04-29-2004, 04:06 PM
I just can't believe this. BJ was such a great man. I keep watching the video and I just can't believe it.
I truly believe he died before he ever crashed. There is no way that with all that land around him that he would have landed in the water and even if he did, he would have been able to control the helo enough to survive. I know that the autopsy will remove any doubt that the Helicycle killed him.
Man... I just can't believe this.
04-29-2004, 04:14 PM
I am very sad for this. BJ was a great man. He always answered all questions and had inmense faith in his helicycle.
04-29-2004, 07:05 PM
We are very disheartened & sorry to hear of this! He was without a doubt, a great man. I hope that someone will pickup where he has left off. May he rest in peace.
04-29-2004, 07:29 PM
This kind of news have a strange effect on me, I go blank for a while and then this rage come from inside me, and I just want to cry . . .
But I think he was doing what he loved most and whatever fatality that took him away was part of the deal.
God bless him and help his family.
04-29-2004, 07:56 PM
After reading through the comments on this thread I think it should be shared with B.J.'s family. On Monday I will compile all of the comments, thoughts, etc. from this thread and send them with a card to B.J.'s family letting them know that our small group has them in our prayers. Please continue to offer your thoughts.
04-30-2004, 12:31 AM
I am deeply saddened by this loss.
BJ was an inspiration to me and the other Helicycle builders as we struggled to realize our dream of building and flying our own helicopter.
My condolences to his family.
04-30-2004, 04:28 AM
Sunstate Rotor Club PRA Ch# 26 will miss BJ very much. He usually tried to make BD Days then on to Sun&Fun. BJ will be missed. To the Family we are sorry for their loss and we will pray for them. MJ
04-30-2004, 04:55 AM
Very sad, a very big loss for everyone who knows him or his work.
My condolences to his family and his friends.
André Martin. Québec-Canada.
05-01-2004, 07:26 PM
I met BJ Schramm in the seventies when he test flew my friend's Scorpion Too at the PRA convention in Rockford, Illinois. BJ was a kind, concerned and compassionate man. I had many occasions to deal with BJ in the years that followed and he remained consistantly, one of the nicest persons I've ever met. Just before I bought the SnoBird company I called BJ for some fatherly advice. He spent nearly two hours informing me of the pride and pitfalls of manufacturing homebuilt kits and before long I had a workable business plan as well.
I will miss him like a father. Sincerest condolences from myself and the members of the Greater Midwest Rotorcraft Club, PRA Chapt 18, Chicago, IL.
05-02-2004, 04:38 PM
Already mentioned in the other thread, but Jim and I and all at Aero-News are shell-shocked at the premature and tragic loss of this pioneer. I don't think anyone would be flying homebuilt helicopters today if it had not been for BJ Schramm. As Doug Schwockert, one of BJ's builders, told me at Mentone, "Of course, I started with a Scorpion. EVERYBODY started with a Scorpion!"
The Scorp, of course, like its various successors the Scorpion 133, Scorpion Too, and Exec, all stemmed from the fertile mind of BJ. When outboard boat motors were causing hassles, no problem; design a motor. Later, in Helicycle days, when Doug sold him on the turbine idea he couldn't rest with Doug ingenious mechanic's adaptation. He had to re-engineer the entire accessory case to make an optimized version for the Helicycle. Within some ridiculously short time after he flew Doug's machine he had bought a huge quantity of the turbine motors -- a semitrailier or boxcar's worth -- to make sure he had them for his customers. BJ Schramm was something else.
At Mentone I was too busy to talk to him. "We can always catch up later," I thought.
Gee, I hope so.
05-02-2004, 04:46 PM
Guys & Gals
The folks at Rotorway have posted a touching memorial page to BJ.
It has a nice picture of him from 1988. He didn't look much different last month -- only the helicopter had changed!
05-02-2004, 04:49 PM
from Rotorhub.com via Shepherd
Robinson: BJ Schramm Loss Personal
Include Frank Robinson among mourners for B.J. Schramm, founder of Rotorway Executive and longtime helicopter pioneer.
'BJ was one of the most creative and effective designers I've known, across the field,' Robinson tells rotorhub.com.
'He was a genius in his field - extraordinary for someone who didn't have formal academic engineering training.'
Schramm died when a turbine-powered single-seat helicopter he was flying (his own design) crashed yesterday.
Robinson first knew Schramm years ago when they worked on gyrocopter designs together.
'Over the years we've stayed in constant touch. We'd meet whenever we could, and corresponded by letter. We were personal friends.'
Schramm founded Rotorway Exec, producer of a piston powered helicopter that's as legendary in its own way as Robinson's own designs.
'This is a sad loss for the helicopter world, Robinson said, 'a guy who was head and shoulders above the rest.'
05-02-2004, 04:55 PM
One of BJ's earlier designs is in the National Air and Space Museum. Is that cool or what?
05-03-2004, 12:46 PM
I have heard that BJ was a man of principals and morals and a deep abiding faith in GOD. I know his family will be comforted not only by the thoughts of wonderful memories of his past but the belief that they will meet him again.I believe that also.
05-03-2004, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the link!
That is cool.
Did he still own part of Rotorway?
05-03-2004, 07:35 PM
Tim asked: Did he still own part of Rotorway?
No, Tim, his only connexion to Rotorway was as a sort of spiritual father figure. They respected him. The current Rotorway management owns Rotorway, I believe. I also think that the other employees have a piece as well.
Check out this link: http://www.rotorwayfun.com/ and look where Clell went to the Rotorway flight school for the last time; he took some pictures of a kind of forlorn display they have of old, forgotten Rotorways.
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