NTSB Identification: LAX90FA170.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42988.
Accident occurred Saturday, May 12, 1990 in CARMEL VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/08/1992
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N75SH
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.
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 PILOT TOOK OFF FROM A CLEAR AREA IN FRONT OF A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, AND HEADED TOWARD A VALLEY. THE HELICOPTER ACCELERATED IN GROUND EFFECT FOR ABOUT 370 FEET UTILIZING AN AIRSPEED OVER ALTITUDE DEPARTURE PROFILE. IT THEN FLEW DIRECTLY INTO AND SEVERED TWO DISTRIBUTION POWER LINES WHICH WERE LOCATED ABOUT FOUR FEET ABOVE THE ELEVATION OF THE TAKEOFF AREA. (THE POWER POLES WERE LOCATED AT LOWER ELEVATION TERRAIN.) THE MAIN ROTOR BLADE TIP, CHIN BUBBLE AND THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE SHAFT WERE BROKEN DURING THE COLLISION, AND THE PILOT LOST CONTROL. THE HELICOPTER VEERED 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT AND CRASHED ABOUT ONE- QUARTER OF A MILE FROM THE LINES. THE POLES WHICH SUPPORTED THE LINES WERE LOCATED BEHIND TREES AND WERE NOT VISIBLE FROM THE TAKEOFF AREA. EARLIER IN THE DAY THE PILOT HAD MADE TWO LOCAL FLIGHTS OVER THE SAME AREA AND THE POLES/LINES WERE NOT NOTED, ACCORDING TO THE PILOT. THE HELICOPTER WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH OPTIONAL WIRE CUTTERS.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT AND IMPROPER CLIMB.
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