NTSB Identification: FTW94LA021.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 29, 1993 in W. CAMERON 240
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1994
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N360S
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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.

WHILE ATTEMPTING TO FLY TO AN OFFSHORE PLATFORM, THE PILOT ENCOUNTERED DETERIORATING WEATHER AND LANDED AT ANOTHER PLATFORM SHORT OF HIS DESTINATION. THE WEATHER WAS FORECAST AND BRIEFED TO THE PILOT. AFTER A BRIEF DELAY, HE TOOK OFF AGAIN, BUT AGAIN ENCOUNTERED WEATHER AND ATTEMPTED TO DIVERT TO A THIRD PLATFORM. UNABLE TO REACH EITHER HIS DESTINATION OR OTHER PLATFORMS, THE PILOT SET UP AN ORBIT TO WAIT OUT THE THUNDERSTORMS AND SQUALLS IN THE AREA. THE PASSENGERS STATED THE PILOT MADE 4 OR 5 ORBITS DURING WHICH HE SLOWED THE AIRCRAFT AND IT BEGAN DESCENDING. ONE OF THE PASSENGERS WAS ABOUT TO WARN THE PILOT OF HIS LOW ALTITUDE WHEN THE AIRCRAFT WAS STRUCK BY A 15 FOOT SWELL AND ROLLED INTO THE WATER. ALL 3 OCCUPANTS WERE ABLE TO EXIT THE WRECKAGE AND INFLATE THEIR LIFE VESTS. ONE OF THE PASSENGERS SWAM ABOUT 2 MILES TO A RIG AND REPORTED THE ACCIDENT. BOTH PASSENGERS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY RESCUED ABOUT 10 HOURS AFTER THE ACCIDENT, HOWEVER; WHEN RESCUERS FOUND THE PILOT, HE WAS UNCONSCIOUS, FLOATING FACE DOWN IN THE WATER. DURING THE ATTEMPTED RECOVERY, HIS LIFE VEST CAME OFF AND HE SANK BELOW THE SURFACE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE WHILE MANEUVERING. FACTORS WERE HIS CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER AND HIS SELF-INDUCED PRESSURE TO COMPLETE THE FLIGHT.

Full narrative available

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