NTSB Identification: LAX82FA232
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 23, 1982 in DARDANELLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/23/1983
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE SA-316B, registration: N6456
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 PILOT TOOK OFF FROM MODESTO, CA ON A MEDIVAC FLIGHT TO PICK UP A VICTIM THAT WAS INJURED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT. A NURSE AND A MEDICAL TECHNICIAN WERE ON BOARD. SPOTLIGHTS ON VEHICLES WERE USED TO ILLUMINATE THE LANDING AREA AS WELL AS HIGH SURROUNDING TREES. AFTER CIRCLING ABOUT 3 TIMES, THE HELICOPTER STRUCK A TREE ABOUT 134 FT AGL WHILE IN A DESCENDING LEFT TURN. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES REMAIN LODGE IN THE TREE AND THE HELICOPTER CAME TO REST ABOUT 30 FT FROM THE TREE.

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

CLEARANCE..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..NIGHT


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)

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