NTSB Identification: LAX96LA194.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 06, 1996 in BARSTOW, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1996
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N16726
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 was transporting a producer and a cameraman for the purpose of photographing an automobile on a dry lake bed. According to the pilot, he proceeded to orbit around the forward moving car from an initial altitude between 50 and 100 feet above ground level, with an airspeed between 40 and 50 knots. The orbit was about 1/2 completed and the helicopter was starting to 'come up' behind the car, when the helicopter entered a descent. The pilot was unable to arrest the descent with aft cyclic and full engine power. Subsequently, the helicopter contacted the ground and was damaged. The local wind was reported to be less than 5 knots. Reportedly, there was no mechanical malfunction of the helicopter.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain adequate terrain clearance, while maneuvering around a ground vehicle at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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