NTSB Identification: NYC05MA039.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 10, 2005 in Oxon Hill, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Eurocopter Deutschland EC 135 P2, registration: N136LN
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full brief is available at http://ntsb.gov/Publictn/publictn.htm. The Aviation Accident Brief number is NTSB/AAB-07/04.

On January 10, 2005, about 2311 eastern standard time, a Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH EC-135 P2 helicopter, N136LN, operated by LifeNet, Inc., as Life Evac 2, crashed into the Potomac River during low-altitude cruise flight near Oxon Hill, Maryland. The certificated commercial pilot and the flight paramedic were killed, and the flight nurse received serious injuries. The helicopter was destroyed. The positioning flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and visual flight rules with a company flight plan filed. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to identify and arrest the helicopter's descent, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident were the dark night conditions, limited outside visual references, and the lack of an operable radar altimeter in the helicopter.

Full narrative available

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