NTSB Identification: NYC89GA116.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40585.
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 12, 1989 in AIRVILLE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N157P
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 public aircraft accident report.

THE HELICOPTER WAS BEING OPERATED BY THE PA STATE POLICE OVER THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER SEARCHING FOR A POSSIBLE VICTIM REPORTED TO HAVE JUMPED INTO THE RIVER. IT WAS TRAVELLING IN A SOUTHWESTERLY DIRECTION WHEN IT HIT UNMARKED POWER LINES STRETCHED EAST AND WEST ACROSS, AND ABOUT 160 FT ABOVE, THE RIVER. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED IN ABOUT 10 FEET OF WATER. THE POWER LINES WERE SUPPORTED BY 60-FOOT WOODEN POLES SET BACK INTO THE WOOD LINE, AND WERE NOT SHOWN ON ANY OF THE AREA CHARTS.

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

THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO SEE AND AVOID THE UNMARKED POWER LINES STRETCHED ACROSS THE RIVER. A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR WAS THE LACK OF VISUAL CLUES.

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