NTSB Identification: LAX94LA311
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 09, 1994 in STATELINE, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE SA316B, registration: N981CF
Injuries: 3 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 HELICOPTER WAS EN ROUTE TO PICK UP AN AUTO ACCIDENT VICTIM. THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT MADE A LANDING ZONE IN A PARKING LOT AND MARKED IT WITH ROAD FLARES. THE PARKING LOT IS ABOUT 7,200 FEET ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL (MSL). THE PILOT TERMINATED THE APPROACH ABOUT 200 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL, LOWERED THE COLLECTIVE, AND DESCENDED VERTICALLY. A RAPID RATE OF DESCENT DEVELOPED, WHICH THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO ARREST, AND THE HELICOPTER LANDED HARD. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS COMPUTED AT 9,500 FEET ABOVE MSL.

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

the failure of the pilot to maintain the proper rate of descent during the vertical descent into the landing zone, which resulted in a hard landing. Factors in the accident were high density altitude and dark night light conditions.

Full narrative available

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