NTSB Identification: BFO89LA049.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39039.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 1989 in FRUITLAND, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1990
Aircraft: BELL 47J, registration: N6760D
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLT INITIALLY LANDED AT AN ARPT TO OBTAIN FUEL; HOWEVER, THE PUMPS HAD BEEN CLOSED DOWN FOR THE NIGHT & FUEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE. HE DEPARTED THE ARPT & ELECTED TO LAND AT A CONVENIENCE STORE WHICH HAD FUEL PUMPS. DRG A LANDING AT NIGHT, THE HELICOPTER CONTACTED THE WOODEN FRAMED CANOPY STRUCTURE WHICH COVERED THE FUEL PUMPS. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE PLT LOST CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER & IT DESCENDED & IMPACTED THE PAVEMENT. ABOUT 1 HR AFTER THE ACDNT, THE STATE POLICE ADMINISTERED A BREATHALYZER TEST, WHICH SHOWED THE PLT HAD AN ALCOHOL LEVEL OF APRX 0.13%.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE PILOT BY FLYING, WHILE PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL, AND HIS MISJUDGEMENT OF CLEARANCE BETWEEN THE HELICOPTER AND THE STRUCTURE. THE DARK NIGHT AND OBJECT (STRUCTURE) WERE CONSIDERED TO BE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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