NTSB Identification: SEA05MA199
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, September 23, 2005 in Haena, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350BA, registration: N355NT
Injuries: 3 Fatal,3 Minor.

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-07/01. ]

On September 23, 2005, about 1415 Hawaiian standard time, an Aerospatiale AS350BA helicopter, N355NT, registered to Jan Leasing, LLC, and operated by Heli-USA Airways, Inc., of Las Vegas, Nevada, encountered adverse weather and crashed into the Pacific Ocean several hundred feet off the coast of Kailiu Point, near Haena, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai. The sightseeing air tour flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 and visual flight rules with a company flight plan in effect. Localized instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site. Three passengers were killed, and the commercial pilot and two other passengers received minor injuries. The flight departed from Lihue Airport, Lihue, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, at 1354 for the intended 45-minute tour.

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

The pilot's decision to continue flight into adverse weather conditions, which resulted in a loss of control due to an encounter with a microburst. Contributing to the accident was inadequate Federal Aviation Administration surveillance of Special Federal Aviation Regulation 71 operating restrictions. Contributing to the loss of life in the accident was the lack of helicopter flotation equipment.

Full narrative available

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