NTSB Identification: CHI90LA073.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40672.
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 30, 1990 in MIDDLEVILLE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/05/1993
Aircraft: BELL 222, registration: N828WA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 PILOT STATED THAT THE HELICOPTER WAS IN CRUISE FLIGHT AT 1,500 FEET MSL (500 TO 600 FEET AGL) ON A REPOSITIONING FLIGHT, WHEN IT STRUCK A GUY WIRE ON A 1,060 FOOT HIGH TV TOWER. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADE SEVERED THE WIRE/CABLE, AND THE PILOT PERFORMED AN EMERGENCY DESCENT TO A FORCED LANDING IN A NEARBY FIELD. THE PILOT TOLD THE STATE POLICE THAT THE HELICOPTER WAS ON AUTOPILOT, AND 'HE WAS CHECKING HIS LOG (AND PAPERS) AND VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS IN THE COCKPIT . . . HAPPENED TO LOOK UP JUST PRIOR TO STRIKING THE CABLE.' A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE OWNERS OF THE TV TOWER REPORTED THAT IT WAS MARKED (PAINTED, LIT, ETC.) IN ACCORDANCE WITH FAA REGULATIONS. THE PILOT'S LOGBOOK RECORDS INDICATED A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 10,434 HOURS, OF WHICH 9,549 HOURS WERE ACCUMULATED IN ROTORCRAFT (INCLUDING 91 HOURS IN THE ACCIDENT MAKE AND MODEL AIRCRAFT).

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT AND FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE AND CLEARANCE FROM THE TV TOWER. THE TV TOWER (GUY WIRE) WAS A RELATED FACTOR.

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