NTSB Identification: LAX01LA283.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, August 18, 2001 in Vinton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS 355F1, registration: N53LH
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

The pilot of the med-vac helicopter reported that, during liftoff at the remote site, he encountered a loss of visual reference due to a "brown out" condition created by blowing dust at 3 feet agl. He then attempted to land the helicopter without any visual reference; however, the right skid contacted the ground first. A rolling motion to the left was created and, after the left skid contacted the ground, a dynamic rollover ensued. The helicopter came to rest on its left side.

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

The pilot's selection of an unsuitable landing site, which caused "brown-out" conditions during departure liftoff and resulted in loss of control of the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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