NTSB Identification: LAX93LA261.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 19, 1993 in HALF MOON BAY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1994
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS 369D, registration: N277SP
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 departed his residence in the southern California area at 1030 on June 18th and flew commercially to Reno, Nevada. The pilot was to pick up the helicopter and ferry it to a movie filming location at the accident site, where it was to be used as a camera platform. The pilot arrived in Reno at 1300 hours and was informed that the helicopter was not at the airport and ground transportation would be sent to take him to the helicopter. The pilot waited in the airport terminal until 1630 hours for ground transportation to arrive. At 1745 hours the pilot departed in the accident helicopter and arrived at the filming site about 1850 hours. The actual filming started just after midnight on saturday morning and concluded at 0300 hours that morning. About 0410 hours the pilot was maneuvering the helicopter to depart the area when it collided with a power cable attached to an illuminated bank of high intensity lights mounted on top of a 125 foot tall telescoping tower used during the filming. The impact occurred on the same side of the tower as the two million candle power lights. The accident occurred about 17 hours after the pilot had departed his residence.

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

the pilots failure to maintain an adequate clearance from the light tower and associated electrical power cables. Factors in the accident were; 1) pilot fatigue due to an excessively long duty day, and 2) glare from the lights which affected the pilot's ability to clearly see the obsturctions.

Full narrative available

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