NTSB Identification: FTW04IA147.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Tuesday, May 11, 2004 in SMI-28, GM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Bell 206L-1, registration: N83MT
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
The helicopter, being operated as a Part 135 on-demand air taxi, made a routine landing on an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The passenger stated that, after landing the pilot began to have "labored" breathing and did not respond to his voice. The pilot became unresponsive, and while his hands were still on the controls, the passenger kept the cyclic centered, removed the pilot's hand from the collective, and rolled the throttle to idle. The passenger continued to talk to the pilot; however, the pilot did not respond and continued to breath in a "labored" manner. Approximately two minutes later, the pilot went limp and slumped forward. The passenger shutdown the engine and applied rotor brake, and when the blades were almost stopped, he exited the helicopter and went to the pilot's side to check for a pulse. Finding none, he tried calling for help on the helicopter radios, and after receiving no answer; he went downstairs to get help. CPR was continued until medical assistance arrived. The pilot had accumulated 22,570.40 total flight hours. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on July, 8, 2003, with no limitations or waivers. An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Medical Examiner, Lafayette Parish Forensic Center. The cause of death was determined as: "Acute Cardiac Arrhythmia, due to left ventricular fibrosis, due to coronary arteriosclerosis, due to hypertensive and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease (HASCVD)." Other contributors: "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), steatohepatis."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: Incapacitation of the pilot due to a heart attack. Full narrative available
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