NTSB Identification: MIA91GA050.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44504.
Accident occurred Thursday, December 20, 1990 in ST. MARKS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/12/1993
Aircraft: BELL 206 B3, registration: N37AN
Injuries: 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 public aircraft accident report.

PILOT DID NOT RECEIVED FULL WEATHER BRIEFING PRIOR TO DEPARTURE ON CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT. ON ARRIVAL AT DEST FLIGHT ENCOUNTERED INSTRUMENT METEOROLGICAL CONDITIONS, AS HAD BEEN FORECAST. WHILE DESCENDING IN VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS, AT NIGHT, OVER COASTLINE TO GET BELOW LOW OVERCAST LAYER OF CLOUDS, PILOT LOST OUTSIDE VISUAL REFERENCE AND ALLOWED THE HELICOPTER TO DESCEND AND CRASH INTO THE WATER. NO MECHANICAL FAILURES OF THE HELICOPTER OR ENGINE WERE NOTED AFTER THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SAFE ALTITUDE WHILE DESCENDING OVER A COASTLINE, AT NIGHT, IN VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN A FULL WEATHER BRIEFING PRIOR TO DEPARTURE RESULTING IN HIS ENCOUNTER WITH INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS AT HIS DESTINATION.

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