NTSB Identification: LAX95LA098.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 03, 1995 in RED BLUFF, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: N7509H
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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 FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR (CFI) AND DUAL STUDENT DEPARTED IN A HELICOPTER AT NIGHT ON A COMBINATION NIGHT INSTRUCTIONAL/VFR FERRY FLIGHT. THE PILOTS WERE FOLLOWING AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY, WHEN THEY ENCOUNTERED AN AREA OF REDUCED VISIBILITY. THE CFI TOOK CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER AND MADE A 180-DEGREE TURN. HE REPORTED THAT HE ENTERED A DESCENT TO IMPROVE VISUAL REFERENCE TO THE GROUND AND SLOWED THE HELICOPTER TO ABOUT 40 KNOTS. HOWEVER, THE HELICOPTER CONTACTED THE SURFACE OF A RICE PADDY, SLID IN A LEVEL ATTITUDE UNTIL IT ENCOUNTERED UNEVEN TERRAIN, THEN ROLLED OVER.

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

the flight instructor's poor in-flight decision to continue flight into a reduced visibility area, his failure to execute a 180-degree turn in a timely manner, and his failure to maintain clearance from the terrain.

Full narrative available

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