NTSB Identification: LAX95LA113.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 20, 1995 in SONOMA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: BELL 47G-5, registration: N1309X
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 PILOT REPORTED THAT WHILE PERFORMING A PREFLIGHT INSPECTION HE OBSERVED MOISTURE (DEW) PRESENT ON THE BUBBLE OF HIS HELICOPTER. HE DID NOT HAVE TOWELS, SO HE ATTEMPTED TO WIPE THE BUBBLE CLEAN USING HIS HANDS. THE PILOT FURTHER REPORTED THAT HE OBSERVED BYSTANDERS APPROACHING, SO HE DECIDED TO TAKE OFF AWAY FROM THEIR POSITION, AND HE FLEW INTO TELEPHONE WIRES. THE PILOT ALSO REPORTED THAT THE SUN WAS IN FRONT OF HIM WHICH ALSO RESTRICTED HIS FLIGHT VISIBILITY.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate visual lookout for obstructions during initial climb. Factors which contributed to the accident were the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, and his decision to fly with an inadequately cleaned bubble which partially obstructed his vision. Sun glare was an additional factor in the accident.

Full narrative available

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