NTSB Identification: ANC89FA092.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39243.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, June 15, 1989 in PUNTILLA LAKE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350B, registration: N160EH
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 AIR TAXI PLT WAS RETURNING THE HELICOPTER TO ITS BASE CAMP AFTER TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS & PARTS TO A REMOTE DRILLING SITE IN RURAL ALASKA. WHILE EN ROUTE, THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE ROCK FACE OF A 3900 FT RIDGE AT THE 3500 FT LEVEL. THE WX IN THE AREA WAS RPRTD TO BE OVERCAST BTN 3000 & 3500 FT MSL WITH LIGHT TO OCCASIONALLY HEAVY RAIN. THE PLT HAD AN INSTRUMENT RATING FOR AIRPLANES, BUT NOT FOR HELICOPTERS. HE WAS RPRTDLY IN THE HABIT OF FLYING OVER THE RIDGES, WHEN WX PERMITTED, TO MINIMIZE FLT TIME, INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING LOWER TERRAIN IN NEARBY VALLEYS.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) AND FAILED TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO CLEAR THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THE WEATHER AND TERRAIN CONDITIONS WERE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.
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