NTSB Identification: MIA01LA039.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 10, 2000 in MARATHON, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N411MJ
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The certified flight instructors (CFI) attempted VFR flight to his destination airport without a weather briefing. Instrument flight conditions were encountered and the pilot landed on an island. The CFI called an FAA Automated Flight Service Station and received a standard weather briefing. The forecaster informed the CFI that VFR flight was not recommended. The CFI attempted VFR flight after he thought the weather had moved through his location, and encountered instrument flight conditions. He attempted to reverse his course, became spatially disoriented, and the helicopter descended and collided with the Atlantic Ocean.

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

The certified flight instructors disregard of an FAA weather forecast stating VFR flight not recommended resulting in VFR flight into known instrument flight conditions, loss of aircraft control due to spatial disorientation, and subsequent in-flight descent and in-flight collision with the Atlantic Ocean.

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