NTSB Identification: FTW90FA051.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41117.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 11, 1990 in SAN DIEGO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/1992
Aircraft: BELL UH-1B, registration: N15SX
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 BEING FLOWN AT NIGHT IN AN AREA WHERE THE TEMPERATURE AND DEW POINT WERE 64 DEGREES F. THE PILOT LANDED SEVERAL MILES WEST OF SAN DIEGO, TEXAS. HE SAID HE HAD LANDED DUE TO FOG AND TO ASK DIRECTIONS TO ANOTHER TOWN, SO HE COULD DELIVER BIRDS FOR A HUNT THE NEXT DAY. HE WAS GIVEN DIRECTIONS TO ANOTHER TOWN, BUT WAS ALSO TOLD HE COULD LEAVE THE HELICOPTER THERE, AND THEY WOULD TAKE THE BIRDS TO TOWN TO WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO DRIVE IN AND PICK UP THE BIRDS. THE PILOT SAID HE THOUGHT HE COULD MAKE IT TO THE NEXT TOWN. THE HELICOPTER DEPARTED, BUT DID NOT ARRIVE IN THE NEXT TOWN. HUNTERS REPORTED HEARING A CRASH SEVEN MILES WEST OF THE DEPARTURE POINT. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED, BUT AFTER 2 1/2 HOURS, THE SEARCH WAS STOPPED DUE TO DENSE FOG. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND THE NEXT DAY, APPROXIMATELY 9 MILES WEST OF SAN DIEGO, TEXAS. NO PRE-IMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEMS WERE FOUND.

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

THE PILOT INTENTIONALLY FLEW INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS DURING NIGHT VFR FLIGHT, AND THE HELICOPTER SUBSEQUENTLY COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN.

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