NTSB Identification: ERA13GA046
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Saturday, November 03, 2012 in Atlanta, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/07/2014
Aircraft: HUGHES OH-6A, registration: N368PD
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 public aircraft accident report.

The night, public flight was being operated to support ground-based police personnel in locating a missing child. Witnesses reported observing the helicopter at a very low altitude with the search light on maneuvering near the intersection of two city streets. Witness statements indicated that, as the helicopter neared the intersection, the landing gear skids collided with wires at the top a 42-foot power pole. The helicopter then flipped over and crashed into the street. Recorded radar data were consistent with the witness statements. An examination of the airframe did not reveal evidence of malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Rotational scoring found on the internal engine components indicates that the engine had power at impact. No distress calls were received from the flight crew before the crash. Most of the pilot’s peers described him as “meticulous,” “capable,” and “competent”; however, one pilot stated that the accident pilot had a tendency to “fly low.”

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

The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient altitude during maneuvering flight, which resulted in his failure to see and avoid a power pole and wires.

Full narrative available

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