NTSB Identification: ATL96LA063B
Accident occurred Sunday, March 10, 1996 in GULF SHORES, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N7480F
Injuries: 6 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 Cessna 172RG and a Hughes 269 helicopter, collided about 150 feet above the ground on the final approach course for runway 9. The Cessna was on the final approach for landing on runway 9, while the helicopter was proceeding south southeast across the final approach course to land at a hangar on the south side of the airport. The helicopter pilot had just completed hovering practice on the north side of the airport, and had circled north northwest, west, south, and then headed southeast to the landing area. Based upon the reported, damage, the helicopter main rotor contacted the left flap and horizontal stabilizer/elevator of the Cessna. The Cessna pilot stated he reported his position as he entered right base for runway 9, and as he turned onto final at 500 feet above ground. The Hughes pilot did not report making any radio transmissions. Both pilots stated they glimpsed the opposing aircraft just prior to the collision. Both pilots reported taking evasive action, which was ineffectual. The Cessna continued and was landed on the runway, while the helicopter pilot executed an autorotation and landed near the collision site.

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

The failure of both pilots to maintain an adequate visual lookout. A factor was the lack of position reports via radio by the pilot of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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