NTSB Identification: SEA86FA056.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 31505.
Accident occurred Monday, February 10, 1986 in COUGAR, WA
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas 369D, registration: N609PD
Injuries: 3 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 HELICOPTER DEPARTED THE LANDING AREA AFTER A NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION ACROSS THE VALLEY FLOOR FROM THE MT. ST. HELENS VOLCANO. PRIOR TO DEPARTURE THE PLT REPORTED THE WEATHER WAS CLOSING IN AND GETTING 'NASTY'. WX CONDITIONS AS REPORTED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE SUPPORT THE CONTENTION A METEOROLOGICAL EVENT CAUSED THE PLT TO LOSE VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE HORIZON AND IMPACT TERRAIN WHILE DESCENDING TO THE VALLEY FLOOR AT CRUISE SPEED.

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

BECAME LOST/DISORIENTED..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..OBSCURATION


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

SELF-INDUCED PRESSURE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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