NTSB Identification: CHI95FA035.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 08, 1994 in CAMERON, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/1996
Aircraft: Sikorsky S-76A, registration: N2620
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Minor.

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.

The crew went visual at the termination of a Copter approach. Conditions were a dark night with 300-400 foot overcast and fog. The point where the crew went visual was over the water, 1 mile offshore. The only visual references available were several lights on land, approximately 4 miles ahead. The local altimeter was 30.02. The captain's altimeter was set at 30.05 and the copilot's was set at 30.12. These settings would result in the captain's altimeter indicating 30 feet high, and the copilot's altimeter indicating 100 feet higher than the actual altitude. The copilot flying transitioned from instruments to an outside visual scan, for a transition to the landing site. The non-flying captain was looking down while changing radios. Neither pilot was aware of a descent until the level impact with the water. The helicopter came to rest submerged, inverted, with all windows on the left side broken. The copilot escaped through his missing window. The captain was not able to open his door and became disoriented. He exhausted the air in his emergency air bottle during the 4 minutes it took him to egress. The passenger drowned.

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

the copilot's failure to maintain altitude and the pilot-in-command's inadequate supervision of the operation. Factors include the dark night and low ceiling, and the flightcrew's failure to set the proper altimeter setting.

Full narrative available

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