NTSB Identification: NYC99FA140
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 14, 1999 in JACKSON, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/2001
Aircraft: Sikorsky S-76A, registration: N2743E
Injuries: 4 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.

The S-76A departed on a positioning flight with two pilots and two medical personnel onboard. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed with prevailing visibility less than 1/4 mile. The departure airport was 1,381 feet MSL. After becoming airborne, as it passed through 1,600 feet, the helicopter entered a descending left turn which terminated on the side of a hill, about 1,000 feet elevation. The CVR recorded the pilot calling out the descending turn to the co-pilot who was flying, but the co-pilot did not acknowledge the pilot's call. Additionally, the pilot did not take control of the helicopter from the co-pilot, and he did not acknowledge the co-pilot's comment about a possible gyro failure, or answer the co-pilots question about the pilot taking control of the helicopter. No evidence a pre-existing failure or malfunction was found with the helicopter. According to the company operations manual, the minimum visibility for an instrument departure was 1/4 mile. Both pilots had failed upgrades in the preceding year, but had passed their respective 6 month IFR checks with no problems noted.

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

the failure of the PIC to adequately supervise the SIC, and maintain a positive climb. Factors were the fog and dark night.

Full narrative available

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