NTSB Identification: LAX91LA140.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43369.
Accident occurred Friday, March 22, 1991 in CHOWCHILLA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/25/1993
Aircraft: SIKORSKY S-58J, registration: N27AR
Injuries: 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 AIRCRAFT HAD JUST COMPLETED A CHEMICAL APPLICATION RUN OF APPROXIMATELY 1/2 MILE IN LENGTH FROM NORTH TO SOUTH. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO TURN THE HELICOPTER FROM A HEADING OF SOUTH, THROUGH A HEADING OF EAST, TO THE NORTH OR WEST. DURING THE TURN, THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED IN UNCONTROLLED FLIGHT UNTIL IT COLLIDED WITH THE TERRAIN. THE AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN REFUELED AND LOADED WITH ABOUT 350 GALLONS OF CHEMICALS ABOUT 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE ACCIDENT. NO MECHANICAL DEFICIENCIES COULD BE FOUND. THE WIND AT THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS REPORTED FROM THE SOUTH. DURING THE TURN FROM THE SOUTH TO THE NORTH, THE AIRCRAFT PASSED THROUGH A HEADING WHERE THE WIND WOULD BE OFF THE RIGHT REAR OF THE AIRCRAFT. AT THIS PARTICULAR HEADING, MAXIMUM POWER WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SUSTAIN FLIGHT. IN CONSIDERATION OF THE AIRCRAFT'S WEIGHT; DIRECTION OF TURN; WIND DIRECTION; AND WITNESS REPORTS, THE AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED SETTLING WITH POWER. DURING THE HOVER MANEUVER, THE AIRCRAFT WAS AT A RELATIVELY LOW ALTITUDE WHICH PROHIBITED RECOVERY.

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

1) THE PILOT NOT FOLLOWING THE PERFORMANCE DATA FOR THE AIRCRAFT, AND 2) THE PILOT'S INFLIGHT DECISION TO TURN THE AIRCRAFT, WHICH WAS AT OR NEAR MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, IN SUCH A DIRECTION THAT REQUIRED MORE POWER THAN WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE GIVEN FLIGHT CONDITION. A FACTOR IN THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S INABILITY TO TAKE REMEDIAL ACTION DUE TO THE LOW ALTITUDE OF THE AIRCRAFT.

Index for Mar1991 | Index of months