NTSB Identification: CHI07FA069.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, February 12, 2007 in Gulf of Mexico, GM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Eurocopter France EC120B, registration: N690WR
Injuries: 2 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.
Personnel on the offshore oil platform reported hearing the helicopter approaching the platform to land. They then felt the platform shake at which time the helicopter engine noise stopped. One witness reported that prior to this the engine sounded normal. They stated they went outside and saw debris in the water on the north side of the platform, damage to the flare boom, and debris scattered on the platform. The helicopter and its occupants were later located and recovered from 101 feet of water, approximately 2,900 feet from the platform. The personnel reported the winds were out of the south at 20 to 25 knots when the accident occurred. The platform is oriented north/south with the helipad located on the south end of the platform. Two flare booms extend out over the water from the raised structure at the north end of the platform. These flare booms are approximately 100 feet in length. The flare booms, which are angled out toward the northwest and northeast corners of the platform, are angled up approximately 40-degrees. The helicopter contacted the flare boom located on the northwest corner of the platform. Examination of the helicopter and engine failed to reveal any mechanical failure/malfunction, which would have resulted in the accident. Data recorded in the Vehicle Engine Multifunction Display revealed recorded faults, which were associated with post impact system failures. The pilot had been flying off shore operations for approximately seven months prior to the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate compensation for the gusty wind conditions which resulted in his failure to maintain clearance with the structure extending from the offshore oil platform. Contributing to the accident was the gusty wind condition. Full narrative available
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