NTSB Identification: NYC94FA119A
Accident occurred Monday, July 11, 1994 in KIPTOPEKA, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 172RG, registration: N6624R
Injuries: 1 Fatal,4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A CESSNA 172RG, N6624R, WAS ON A FLIGHT TO SPOT FISH FROM ABOUT 3500' MSL. IN THE SAME VICINITY, A NAVY SIKORKSY MH-53A HELICOPTER WAS ON A MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHT. THEY COLLIDED IN MIDAIR OVER THE CHESAPEAKE BAY, NEAR KIPTOPEKA, VA. THE 172RG WENT INTO AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT & CRASHED IN THE BAY; THE HELICOPTER WAS LANDED IN A FIELD. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE 172RG PILOT HAD CONTACTED THE DR-1 CONTROLLER AT NORFOLK DEPARTURE CONTROL (ATC) AT 1458 EDT. HE WAS ASSIGNED A TRANSPONDER CODE & WAS RECEIVING VFR FLIGHT FOLLOWING. THE HELICOPTER PILOT WAS NOT IN CONTACT WITH ATC & WAS USING A VFR TRANSPONDER CODE OF 1200. TWO CONTROLLER CHANGES OCCURRED AT THE DR-1 POSITION AFTER N6624R ESTABLISHED CONTACT. AT 1610 EDT, THE 2ND CONTROLLER GAVE A RELIEF BRIEFING TO THE 3RD CONTROLLER & REFERENCED THE 172RG. THE HELICOPTER HAD BEEN OPERATING AT ABOUT 500'; THE PILOT THEN MADE A CLIMB (MOMENTARILY) TO ABOUT 6000' TO TEST A FUEL DUMPING SYSTEM. RADAR DATA SHOWED THE HELICOPTER THEN ENTERED A DESCENT & WAS TURNING WHEN IT CONVERGED ON THE 172RG FROM ABOVE & BEHIND. AT ABOUT 1618, THE MIDAIR COLLISION OCCURRED ABOUT 3500' MSL. THERE HAD BEEN NO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ATC & THE 172RG PILOT FOR ABOUT 33 MINUTES BEFORE THE COLLISION.

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

INADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT BY THE FLIGHTCREW OF THE HELICOPTER. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: FAILURE OF THE DEPARTURE CONTROLLER TO ISSUE A TRAFFIC ADVISORY.

Full narrative available

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