NTSB Identification: LAX91FA098B.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44123.
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 13, 1991 in SANTA PAULA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/26/1992
Aircraft: AEROTEK PITTS S-2A, registration: N31512
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Serious,1 Minor.

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.

A HELICOPTER (BELL 206B, N2282T) & AN AIRPLANE (PITTS S-2A, N31512) COLLIDED IN MID-AIR DURING THEIR INITIAL TAKEOFF CLIMB FROM AN UNCONTROLLED AIRPORT. THE COLLISION OCCURRED AS THE AIRPLANE WAS TAKING OFF FROM RUNWAY 22 & THE HELICOPTER WAS DEPARTING FROM AN ADJACENT HELIPAD NEAR THE MIDPOINT OF THE 2650' RUNWAY. THE HELICOPTER PILOT SAID THAT AFTER LIFT-OFF FROM THE HELIPAD, HE BROUGHT THE HELICOPTER TO A HOVER & HOVER TAXIED IT TO THE RUNWAY. HE SAID HE VISUALLY CLEARED THE RUNWAY, & AFTER ABOUT 10 SEC, HE BEGAN HIS DEPARTURE. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE HELICOPTER'S FLIGHT PATH MERGED WITH THE FLIGHT PATH OF THE AIRPLANE OVER THE RUNWAY. FORWARD VISIBILITY FROM THE TAILWHEEL EQUIPPED AIRPLANE WOULD HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED WHILE ITS TAILWHEEL WAS ON THE RUNWAY SURFACE. AIRCRAFT TIEDOWNS WERE LOCATED BETWEEN THE APPROACH END OF RUNWAY 22 & THE HELIPAD; AIRCRAFT PARKED IN THIS TIE-DOWN AREA WOULD HAVE RESTRICTED THE VIEW BETWEEN THE APPROACH END OF THE RUNWAY & THE HELIPAD.

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

INADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT BY THE BELL 206B PILOT, WHICH RESULTED IN HIS FAILURE TO SEE-AND-AVOID THE PITTS S-2A. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE S-2A PILOT'S RESTRICTED VISIBILITY FROM THE TAILWHEEL EQUIPPED AIRPLANE, ONCE IT WAS IN POSITION ON THE RUNWAY FOR TAKEOFF.

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