NTSB Identification: MIA95GA062.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 18, 1995 in TAMPA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 369E, registration: N4TP
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 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 public aircraft accident report.

POLICE OFFICERS OBSERVED THE HELICOPTER IN THE VICINITY OF A BRIDGE CONDUCTING AN OVER WATER SEARCH FOR A DROWNING VICTIM. THE HELICOPTER WAS OBSERVED TO START A LEFT DESCENDING TURN AND CONTINUED IN THE DESCENT UNTIL THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE WATER. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE DESCRIBED AS VERY DARK WITH LIGHT WIND. THE ONLY VISIBLE LIGHT WAS THAT EMANATING FROM THE BRIDGE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL AS A RESULT OF BECOMING SPATIALLY DISORIENTED WHILE MANEUVERING. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE DARK NIGHT WITH NO VISIBLE HORIZON.

Full narrative available

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