LAX95LA113
LAX95LA113

On February 20, 1995, at 0745 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G- 5, N1309X, operated by North Coast Helicopter Services, Inc., collided with a wire during initial climb from near Sonoma, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight. The helicopter was substantially damaged, and the commercial pilot was seriously injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

On February 23, 1995, the pilot's wife reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that, at the time of the accident, the pilot was planning to fly to a nearby field where loaders were standing by to place chemicals in the helicopter for a planned agricultural spray flight. The field was an estimated 1/4 mile away.

In the pilot's completed "Aircraft Accident Report," NTSB Form 6120.1, he made a statement regarding the sequence of events prior to and during the flight, summarized as follows:

"I got the helicopter ready to fly (untied the blades and skids, performed a preflight, checked oil, etc.). By then my crew had departed with the truck and went to the loading site, so I did not have towels to wipe the dew off the bubble. I did the best I could with my hands which still left quite a lot of droplets on the plastic. The sun was in front of me which made the visibility more restricted. I thought I could see well enough to make the short flight to the rig. Because there was a small crowd of people on my left side, I took off to my right away from the people and hit phone wires about 100 feet from the trailer. I never saw the wires because of the moisture on the bubble."

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