NTSB Identification: ATL89FA116.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39673.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 26, 1989 in COINJOCK, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/1992
Aircraft: MBB BK-117-A-3, registration: N39187
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 aircraft accident report.

THE FLT WAS RETURNING TO HOMEBASE ALONG A NORMALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, WHEN THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH A NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ANTENNA FOR A CELLULAR PHONE OPN. THIS TOWER HAD BEEN COMPLETED ON THE SAME DAY AS THE ACDNT. ACCORDING TO THE FIELD SUPERVISOR, THE LAST 100 FT SECTION OF THE 240 FT TOWER WAS COMPLETED NEAR SUNSET & THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO COMPLETE THE ELECTRICAL CONNECTION TO THE INSTALLED BEACON. THE SUPERVISOR FAILED TO ADVISE FLIGHT SERVICE OF THE TOWER HEIGHT & THAT THE BEACON WAS NOT IN OPN. A WRECKAGE EXAM INDICATED THAT THE HELICOPTER ROTOR SYSTEM COLLIDED WITH THE TOWER ABOUT 15 FT FROM THE TOP. ACCORDING TO ANOTHER PLT AT THE COUNTY'S FLT OPN, MOST FLTS WERE FLOWN BETWEEN 100 & 500 FT AGL.

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

FAILURE OF THE CELLULAR COMPANY TO PROPERLY INSTALL AN OPERATIONAL LIGHTING SYSTEM ON A NEWLY CONSTRUCTED TRANSMISSION TOWER. DARKNESS AND THE COMPANY'S FAILURE TO NOTIFY FLIGHT SERVICE OF THE UNLIGHTED TOWER WERE RELATED FACTORS.

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