NTSB Identification: LAX92FA047.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46265.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 20, 1991 in DAVIS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: BELL 206BIII, registration: N5011K
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 BELL HELICOPTER 206B III COLLIDED WITH LEVEL TERRAIN DURING NIGHT INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. THE PILOT CONTACTED AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TWENTY MILES SOUTHEAST OF HIS DESTINATION REPORTING INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS WITH LOW VISIBILITY IN LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN VFR CONDITIONS AND STARTED TO MANEUVER AROUND THE WEATHER. A WITNESS REPORTED SEEING THE HELICOPTER FLYING NORTH, AT AN ALTITUDE BELOW THE LEVEL OF AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. THE HELICOPTER HAD TO CLIMB TO CROSS THE INTERSTATE. THE HELICOPTER THEN DESCENDED, IMPACTED THE GROUND, AND DISINTEGRATED. ATC REPORTED LOST RADAR CONTACT WITH THE HELICOPTER. THE SEARCH FOR THE HELICOPTER WAS IMPEDED BY LOCAL DARKNESS AND GROUND FOG. THE PILOT'S DESTINATION AIRPORT LOCATED EIGHT NAUTICAL MILES NORTH OF THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS REPORTING A TEMPERATURE DEWPOINT SPREAD OF THREE DEGREES AND CALM WINDS.

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

THE DECISION OF THE PILOT TO CONTINUE NIGHT LOW LEVEL FLIGHT IN FORECASTED ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FOGGY WEATHER AND DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS WHICH RESTRICTED THE PILOT'S VISUAL OUTLOOK.

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