NTSB Identification: LAX92LA029.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45860.
Accident occurred Friday, October 25, 1991 in VALLEJO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/27/1993
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N3456M
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 CERTIFICATED AIRLINE PILOT AND TWO PASSENGERS DEPARTED IN A HELICOPTER FOR THE PLANNED DESTINATION AIRPORT, LOCATED ABOUT 27 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE DEPARTURE POINT. THE PILOT RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING IN WHICH VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED DUE TO LOW CEILINGS AND LOW VISIBILITY. THE PILOT WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA. THE PILOT RECEIVED A SPECIAL VFR CLEARANCE THROUGH AN AIRPORT TRAFFIC AREA, DEPARTING TO THE NORTHWEST. ABOUT 20 MILES FROM THE DEPARTURE POINT, WITNESSES OBSERVED THE HELICOPTER PARALLELING A HIGHWAY AT ABOUT 200 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. THE WEATHER WAS REPORTED TO BE A 200 FOOT OVERCAST CEILING, GUSTY WINDS, HEAVY RAIN, AND VISIBILITY OF ABOUT 1/2 MILE. THE WITNESSES OBSERVED THE HELICOPTER STRIKE THE TOP OF A 223 FOOT HIGH TRANSMISSION TOWER AND EXPLODE. THE LOCATION OF THE TRANSMISSION LINE WAS MARKED ON THE AREA SECTIONAL CHART.

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

THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER, CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, AND IMPROPER ALTITUDE. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS LOW CEILINGS, POOR VISIBILITY, AND RESTRICTED VISUAL LOOKOUT.

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