NTSB Identification: FTW92GA080.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46500.
Accident occurred Monday, March 02, 1992 in FALFURRIAS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/1993
Aircraft: BELL 206B III, registration: N3201R
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

THE AIRCRAFT WAS CONDUCTING A COVERT DRUG INTERDICTION MISSION AT A REMOTE LANDING SITE. THE PILOT LIFTED OFF TO A HOVER AND WAS GOING TO TAKE OFF IN A BLACKED OUT CONFIGURATION SO AS TO NOT ALERT THE SMUGGLERS OF THE AIRCRAFT'S PRESENCE. AS THE PILOT PREPARED TO INITIATE THE FORWARD FLIGHT PORTION OF THE TAKEOFF, THE AIRCRAFT DRIFTED TO THE REAR AND COLLIDED WITH AN UNOCCUPIED MOBILE HOME. THE LEFT STABILIZER AND THE LEFT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT CAME INTO CONTACT WITH THE TRAILER AND THE AIRCRAFT ROLLED OVER ONTO THE ROOF. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE OVERCAST WITH GUSTY WINDS AND DARK NIGHT WITH NO AMBIENT LIGHT. THE OBSERVER STATED THAT HE PERCEIVED THE AIRCRAFT DRIFTING BACKWARDS BUT DID NOT WARN THE PILOT EARLY ENOUGH FOR CORRECTIVE ACTION. THE OPERATOR DID NOT HAVE FORMAL TRAINING PROCEDURES DEVELOPED FOR THE BLACKED OUT OPERATION OR FOR THE ORIENTATION OF OBSERVERS IN SURVEILLANCE OR AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL CONTROL DUE TO HIS ABILITY TO MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT BEING RESTRICTED. FACTORS WERE THE OBSERVER'S DELAY IN INFORMING THE PILOT OF THE REARWARD DRIFT AND THE DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS.

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