NTSB Identification: LAX01LA063
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 22, 2000 in WILCOX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: Bell 206-L3, registration: N288JB
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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

About 20 feet above the touchdown point, the pilot doubled over due to severe cramping, inadvertently moving the cyclic forward and to the right causing the main rotor blades to contact the ground. The helicopter came to rest on its side. The pilot tried to drink a glass of tea about 2 hours before the mission, but discarded it because it tasted bad. He felt a little discomfort during the mission when he detected the tea taste again. After the mission he felt better and did not expect any problems on the return to base. About 5 minutes from the base hospital, nausea, sweating, and cramps suddenly overcame the pilot, and he began to retch. It was a dark, moonless night, and rough terrain was below him. The airport was at his 12 o'clock position at 5 miles, so he elected to fly there rather than attempt an off-airport landing. He requested a sick sack about 1 minute prior to landing.

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

The pilot's incapacitation that resulted from nausea during the final approach to landing. The pilot collapsed on the cyclic, which precipitated inadvertent contact between the main rotor blades and the ground. Factors were hilly terrain on a dark night, which discouraged the pilot from attempting to land at the first signs of discomfort.

Full narrative available

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