NTSB Identification: LAX98TA123.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, March 19, 1998 in SANTA CLARITA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N3186L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he was making a normal approach to a dry riverbed on a southwesterly heading directly into the sun. He reported that 'moments before I hit the wires, I saw them and made an evasive maneuver to avoid them.' He then clipped the wire with the main rotor blades and as he attempted to turn away, he clipped the tail rotor. The pilot stated that he then flew the helicopter to the ground and made ground contact in a level attitude. The helicopter landed hard and rolled over onto its right side. The series of wires were at a measured height of 39 feet agl and spanned lengthwise approximately 1,200 feet between poles or other markings. The sun and moon position information for the time of the accident showed the sun's position to be at 4.6 degrees above the horizon. The sun's azimuth was at 252 degrees. Official sunset that evening was at 1808.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain adequate clearance with the wires. Additional factors in this accident are the position of the sun at that time of the day, which made it difficult to see the wires, and the lack of markings or poles for that series of wires.

Full narrative available

Index for Mar1998 | Index of months