NTSB Identification: SEA99FA168.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 07, 1999 in WESTPORT, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N383T
Injuries: 1 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 helicopter was destroyed after it collided with trees and terrain at night. Visual meteorological conditions were reported en route, however, persons in the area near the crash site reported isolated severe thunderstorms in the vicinity. One person living about 10 miles from the site noticed a ragged low ceiling, with approximately 200 to 500 feet visibility at the time it was becoming dark. He said that he didn't pay attention to the weather after dark, except to note that there were rain showers. He mentioned that he had flown the anticipated route many times, and that the ridge where the helicopter impacted is the first high terrain coming east along that route.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain. Factors include low clouds and visibility and near-night light conditions.

Full narrative available

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