SEA94LA047
SEA94LA047

On January 6, 1994, approximately 1445 hours Pacific standard time (PST), a Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm BO-105S, N204PC, registered to and operated by Pacificorp Trans, Inc., and being flown by Lawrence E. Cranford, an airline transport rated helicopter pilot, was destroyed during a collision with wires and subsequent ground impact approximately 5 miles east of Clearwater, Oregon. The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company VFR flight plan was in effect. The flight, which was being conducted for the purposes of aerial observation of wildlife, was to have been operated in accordance with the requirements set forth in 14CFR91.

The pilot reported that he was flying in a southwesterly direction while following a manmade canal at about 50 feet above ground. The canal emptied into an east/west oriented forebay (small pond) and as the helicopter continued following the forebay its flight path was adjusted to a westerly heading. The pilot reported that "as we turned to a westerly heading over the forebay, my forward visibility was restricted by the afternoon sun" and "at the last minute myself (sic) and the front seat passenger saw power lines across the forebay." The pilot reported that he attempted to turn and decelerate to avoid the wires but was unsuccessful. The main rotor blades contacted at least two of the three power lines and the helicopter then descended out of control, impacting near the shoreline of the lake in a near inverted attitude.

The elevation and azimuth of the sun at the time of the accident was approximately +16 degrees above the horizon and 216 degrees (true) respectively.

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