NTSB Identification: LAX94LA174.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, March 25, 1994 in HI. NAT'L PARK, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N113RS
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT ENCOUNTERED A STEAM CLOUD WHILE HOVERING AND COLLIDED WITH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN NEAR A VOLCANO VENT. THE PILOT LOST VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND WHILE AT A 5-FOOT HOVER AFTER BEING ENVELOPED BY THE STEAM CLOUD. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO REGAIN VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND BY DESCENDING. DURING THE DESCENT, THE HELICOPTER'S LEFT SKID STRUCK A ROCK. THE HELICOPTER ROLLED RIGHT AND STRUCK THE GROUND.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's in-flight decision to maneuver the helicopter close to an active volcano steam vent which resulted in a whiteout condition from the steam, and the pilot's subsequent loss of visual contact with the ground.

Full narrative available

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