NTSB Identification: LAX93LA166.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 52727.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 24, 1993 in PACIFIC OCEAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/18/1994
Aircraft: BELL 47G2A, registration: N8493E
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 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 HELICOPTER WAS ON A FISH SPOTTING MISSION WITH THE SHIP'S MASTER OF MV OCEAN KIM ON BOARD. DURING CRUISE THE PILOT HEARD A LOUD BANG AND FELT A VIBRATION IN THE RUDDER PEDALS; THEN ALL YAW CONTROL WAS LOST. THE PILOT THOUGHT THE TAIL ROTOR STRUCK A LARGE SEA BIRD AS MANY BIRDS WERE IN THE AREA. HE WAS ABLE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL AT 60 KTS WITH THROTTLE & COLLECTIVE. HE DISCUSSED THE SITUATION WITH THE CAPTAIN, BRIEFLY DISCUSSING THE IDEA OF THE CAPTAIN JUMPING FROM THE HELICOPTER IF IT COULD BE SLOWED AT A LOW ENOUGH ALTITUDE, BUT ONLY IF OK'D BY THE PILOT. THE SHIP LOWERED SMALL BOATS, AND MANEUVERED TO CREATE A SMOOTH WATER SURFACE WHILE THE PILOT ORBITED AND SLOWED THE HELICOPTER TO GET A FEEL FOR HOW SLOW HE COULD GO AND STILL MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL. THE PILOT ESTIMATED THAT HE WAS ABOUT 75 FT ASL AT 45 KTS WHEN THE CAPTAIN DOVE OUT HEAD FIRST. THE PILOT SUBSEQUENTLY MADE A RUNNING LANDING ON THE WATER, AND WAS HOISTED UP ONTO THE DECK OF THE SHIP. THE CAPTAIN SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES. THE T/R BLADES EXHIBITED IMPACT DAMAGE.

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

THE PASSENGER'S FAILURE TO ADHERE TO THE PILOT'S INSTRUCTIONS. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATIONS DIFFICULTY BETWEEN THE PILOT & THE PASSENGER, AND THE BIRD STRIKE.

Index for Mar1993 | Index of months