ANC03LA015
ANC03LA015

On November 15, 2002, about 1630 mountain standard time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N16962, sustained substantial damage during an in-flight collision with terrain after striking a power line about 15 miles northwest of Kingman, Arizona. The helicopter was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Saint George Municipal Airport, Saint George, Utah, about 1530, and was bound for Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on November 15, a sergeant for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office said his office received a cellular telephone call from a motorist, advising of the helicopter accident. He said when he arrived at the accident site, he saw a debris field about 50 yards long perpendicular to a line of power poles. He said the poles were about 60 feet high, with two power lines stretched between each pole. He said the site was in a fairly remote area of the desert, and that the power lines terminated at a ranch several miles from the accident site. He said the two power lines were stacked vertically on the poles, and the top line was about 4 feet above the lower line. He said the lower power line appeared to have been cut by the helicopter between two of the poles, and the top power line was intact. The sergeant said the owner of the ranch at the end of the power line reported a power failure about 1630.

During a telephone conversation with the IIC on November 16, an FAA aviation safety inspector (ASI) from the Las Vegas Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), who responded to the accident site, said the wreckage was scattered along a path about 50 yards long in the direction of Lake Havasu, the helicopter's destination. He said it appeared the helicopter, on a general heading of south, crossed perpendicular to a road and power lines, and impacted the ground about 50 yards south of the power lines. The ASI said there was no large impact crater, and that all the major components of the helicopter were located at the accident site. He said the helicopter came to rest on its left side, that the main rotor system was intact, and that one main rotor blade had little or no damage. The second main rotor blade exhibited impact damage, and striations starting about 4 feet from the hub on the leading edge, which he said were consistent with cutting the power line. The second blade also had span-wise flex folding along the trailing edge.

According to FAA records the pilot had extensive flying experience in fixed wing airplanes, but the helicopter was a recent acquisition. The pilot did attend a manufacturer's flight training program, and had acquired about 170 hours of flight time in helicopters.

During a telephone conversation with the IIC on August 5, 2003, the pathologist from the Mohave County Coroner's Office in Arizona, said the official report was not yet transcribed, but according to the doctor's notes, the pilot died from multiple blunt force trauma resulting from the accident.

A toxicology report prepared by the FAA Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, detected Amlodipine in the pilot's blood and urine. Amlodipine is a drug routinely used to control high blood pressure. The use of Amlodipine was not documented in any of the pilot's FAA medical records.

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