NTSB Identification: MIA98LA053.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 06, 1998 in POOLER, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N333FC
Injuries: 2 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 noninstrument-rated pilot stated he received a weather briefing via computer prior to departure. While approaching his destination he was told the airport was under instrument flight rules conditions. He requested and received a special visual flight rules clearance to approach the airport. While maneuvering to line up with the airport the helicopter collided with an oak tree. An emergency landing was then made in a field. The passenger stated that he did not observe the pilot reset the altimeter during the entire flight and that at the time the helicopter collided with the trees the altimeter read about 480 feet. The elevation at the Savannah Airport is 51 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain a safe altitude and a visual lookout while operating under a special visual flight rules clearance in instrument flight rule conditions, which resulted in the helicopter colliding with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to obtain an adequate weather briefing for conditions at his destination, his continued visual flight rules into instrument flight rule conditions, and his failure to reset the altimeter to the current setting.

Full narrative available

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