CHI95LA327
CHI95LA327

On September 20, 1995, at 0420 central daylight time (cdt), a Bell 206L, N2777W, operated by St. Louis Helicopter Airways, Inc. of Chesterfield, Missouri, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground after inadvertently entering instrument meteorological conditions. The 14 CFR Part 91 emergency medical service flight originated from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, at 0406 cdt and was en route to assist in a automobile accident in Cobden, Illinois. The pilot and medic reported minor injuries, and the nurse on board reported no injuries. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of departure. No flight plan was on file.

The pilot reported that he had checked the weather with Cape Girardeau AWOS prior to departing. AWOS reported a ceiling of 1,900 AGL and a visibility of 4 miles. The pilot stated that although the weather was marginal, he decided to go since the flight's destination was only 25 miles across the river. A computed estimated time en route was 12 minutes. The pilot stated that after takeoff, the weather looked alright, so he continued with the flight. The pilot reported that when the helicopter began to fly through some "small scuddy clouds", he decided to abort the flight. He then initiated a left turn and encountered IMC conditions. The pilot stated that he tried to transition to instruments, but was unable to make the transition before he lost control of the helicopter. "Attempted to regain control of the aircraft and did not see the ground until just before impact," the pilot stated. The helicopter impacted the ground.

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