On January 10, 2005, about 1312 UTC, a Sikorsky S76C, JA6903, operated by the Japan Coast Guard on a training mission, experienced a loss of engine power while hovering over a ship located 28 nautical miles west southwest of Niigata Airport (RJSN). The helicopter collided with the ship before hitting the water and sinking. The meteorological conditions at the time are unknown. The helicopter was destroyed and the two pilots, and two of the four crewmembers were not injured. The other two crewmembers received serious and minor injuries.

It was reported that the helicopter was hovering about 80 feet above a Coast Guard ship, lowering a hoist cable to pick up a rescuer and a dummy from the ship deck when the number 1 engine experienced a loss of power. The hoist cable was cut by a crew member and the pilot tried to maneuver the helicopter away from the ship. During the descending and evasive maneuver, the helicopter collided with the bow of the ship with its tail section. The pilot was unable to deploy the helicopter's emergency floats as it landed in the water and rolled to the right side and capsized, subsequently sinking.

This accident is under the jurisdiction of and is being investigated by the Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission. Further information can be obtained from:

Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
2-1-2, Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8918, Japan
Hideyo Kosugi

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