NTSB Identification: FTW03LA112.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 20, 2003 in Clyde, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS-350-B3, registration: N439AE
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

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

During a repositioning flight, the helicopter landed hard after the pilot encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Prior to departure, the pilot checked the weather for a flight to pick up a patient at another hospital. At the time of the departure, the pilot stated the ceiling was at 1,100 feet and the visibility was 7 miles. Shortly after departure, the weather started to deteriorate and the helicopter encountered IMC. The flight paramedic stated the weather deteriorated rapidly while enroute and requested more than once for the pilot to abort the flight. Prior to reversing direction, the pilot slowed the helicopter and initiated a descent. The pilot was unaware of the descent rate and was unable to slow the descent prior to impacting the terrain. Subsequently, the helicopter landed hard and came to rest upright on a roadway.

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

the pilot's delayed remedial action and his continued flight into known adverse weather conditions. A contributing factor was the excessive descent rate which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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