ATL96LA063A
ATL96LA063A

On March 10, 1996, about 1540 central standard time, a Cessna 172RG airplane, N6612V, and a Hughes 269C helicopter, N7480F, collided in-flight while on approach for landing on runway 9 at the Jack Edwards Airport Gulf Shores, Alabama. Both aircraft were being operated by the pilots under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. There were no injuries to the airline transport pilot of the Cessna, the commercial pilot of the Hughes, or the passengers. A flight plan was not filed for the local personal flight of either aircraft. Both aircraft had departed Gulf Shores earlier in the afternoon.

The pilot of the Cessna reported entering right base for runway 9. He stated that he turned onto the final approach at an altitude of about 500 feet, and announced that position on the Unicom radio frequency, as he had announced his position upon entering base. About 150 feet above the ground he noticed the Hughes on his left side, coming toward him on a south-southeasterly heading. The Cessna pulled up and to the right. According to the pilot, the left flap and the left horizontal stabilizer were cut as a result of the collision. After the collision, the Cessna was landed on runway 9.

The pilot of the helicopter reported that he had been hovering over the taxiway at the north end of runway 35 for about 20 minutes. During that time he had noted traffic using runway 35. He departed from the hover practice to the north northeast, to circle to the south for landing at T-hangars located on the south side of the airport. The helicopter pilot stated that as he crossed the approach course for runway 9, he saw the Cessna "just over and just behind me and to my right." Following the collision, the helicopter pilot landed just below the point of impact. The helicopter pilot did not report making any radio transmissions. He stated in his report that there was damage to two rotor blades, and the landing gear.

Both pilots reported taking evasive action: the Cessna pilot pulling up and right, and the Hughes pilot turning left while attempting to descend.

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