MIA96LA106
MIA96LA106

On March 25, 1996, about 2124 central standard time, an Enstrom F-28C, N56874, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 ferry flight, crashed while maneuvering in the vicinity of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions were being reported at the time of the accident. The helicopter was destroyed. The noninstrument-rated commercial pilot reported minor injuries and the private pilot passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from Tallahassee, Florida, about 1 hour 24 minutes before the accident.

The pilot stated he was in cruise flight at 800 agl west bound over Interstate 10, when he flew into a fog bank. He slowed the helicopter down and initiated a 180-degree right turn. Just after starting the turn he heard a "popping" sound to his left, and diverted his attention to a flickering light on the instrument panel. He checked the flight instruments and noticed the helicopter was in a diving right turn. He observed lights on Interstate 10, and increased collective pitch. The main rotor blades collided with trees and the helicopter veered to the right across the highway, and hit some more trees. He applied collective pitch and aft cyclic, the helicopter collided with the ground and rolled over on its left side. After exiting the helicopter, his passenger called "911" to report the accident to the authorities. Review of Walton County Public Safety "911" logs revealed the telephone call was received at 2134.

Review of weather information obtained from Crestview Automated Flight Service Station, Crestview, Florida, revealed instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the afternoon and at the time of the accident.

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