NTSB Identification: LAX92FA136.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46949.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 04, 1992 in FT. GRANT, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/1993
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS-350D, registration: N350AH
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 aircraft accident report.

AFTER RECEIVING THE REQUEST FOR A MEDICAL EVACUATION MISSION, THE CREW CHECKED WEATHER WITH AN FAA FSS TO DETERMINE IF THE MISSION WOULD BE ACCEPTED. GROUND CLUTTER ON THE WEATHER RADAR PREVENTED A COMPLETE WEATHER BRIEF FOR ENROUTE MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THE PILOT GOT WEATHER FOR HIS DEPARTURE POINT. THE PILOT TOLD FSS '...I THINK I CAN MEANDER MY WAY THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS ON THAT ONE.' THE PILOT ACCEPTED THE MISSION. AFTER TAKEOFF THE PILOT WAS TOLD BY FAA DEPARTURE CONTROL THERE WAS 'WEATHER' ON HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT 'BUT THE INTENSITY IS UNKNOWN.' RADAR SERVICE WAS TERMINATED AND THE CREW CONTINUED. THE SURVIVING CREWMEMBER STATED THAT AS THE FLIGHT PROGRESSED, EVERYTHING GOT 'BLACK.' HE SAID HE COULD NOT SEE OUTSIDE THE AIRCRAFT. HE SAID ABOUT 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE CRASH, THE PILOT TOLD THE CREW '...WE ARE GOING INADVERTENT.' MEANING, THEY WERE GOING INTO THE CLOUDS AND HE WOULD BE FLYING BY INSTRUMENTS. THE SURVIVOR SAID HE HEARD THE 'ALTITUDE BUZZER,' FOLLOWED BY THE IMPACT.

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

1) THE PILOT INADEQUATELY EVALUATING THE ENROUTE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND, 2) THE PILOT MAKING THE INFLIGHT DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT INTO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. FACTORS IN THIS ACCIDENT WERE THE INABILITY OF THE PILOT TO SEE THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN DUE TO THE AMBIENT LIGHT CONDITIONS, CLOUDS, AND SNOW.

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