NTSB Identification: LAX00GA073.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 11, 2000 in CROWS LANDING, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/2001
Aircraft: Arrow Aircraft Co. OH-58A, registration: N901SF
Injuries: 2 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 public aircraft accident report.

The helicopter impacted terrain while reversing course in an unlit area, on a dark night, in marginal VFR weather. During a (pilot) abbreviated preflight weather briefing, the pilot did not request to receive the area forecast, which forecast cloud ceilings below 1,000 feet agl and visibilities less that 3 statute miles in precipitation, fog, and mist along the route. The pilot also declined to hear an airman's meteorological notice (AIRMET), which forecast areas of instrument flight conditions and mountain obscuration along his route of flight. The pilot was advised by the briefer that VFR flight was not recommended.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain altitude and clearance from terrain during a turn to reverse direction after encountering instrument meteorological conditions. A factor in the accident was the pilot's failure to obtain a full weather briefing before departure which accurately forecast the conditions encountered.

Full narrative available

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