MIA05LA088
MIA05LA088

On March 28, 2005, about 2030 Atlantic standard time, a Schweizer 269D helicopter, N4767, registered to and operated by a private individual, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean under unknown circumstances while en route from La Romana Airport, La Romana, Dominican Republic, to Isla Grande Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The pilot received fatal injuries, and the helicopter was destroyed. The flight originated in La Romana, Dominican Republic, the same day, about 1850.

According to an official with the U.S. Coast Guard, at 2240, the Coast Guard received initial notification from Dominican Republic air traffic control personnel, informing of a helicopter which was overdue. The official further stated that the pilot had last been in radio communications contact with the Las Americas Air Traffic Control Tower, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, at 2021, at which time, the helicopter was about 60 nautical miles west of Borinquen, Puerto Rico, and no emergency radio communications had been received. The Coast Guard official said that in response to the notification, Coast Guard Sector San Juan, initiated searches and ramp checks at the airports in Mayaguez, Borinquen, as well as at the San Juan International Airport, all with negative results.

On March 29, 2005, Coast Guard search and rescue assets discovered a small amount of floating debris believed to be associated with the pilot and subject helicopter, in geographic position 18 degrees 31 minutes North latitude, 067 degrees 56 minutes West longitude. On April 19, 2005, the pilot's son positively identified the items the Coast Guard recovered from the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, as belonging to his father.

The NTSB did not obtain the accident pilots' records, and information obtained from the FAA showed that the pilot held an FAA private pilot certificate, with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating. According to the information, the pilot had not attained an instrument rating, and he held an FAA third-class medical certificate, issued on August 10, 2004, with the limitation that he must possess spectacles for near vision. At the time of his medical examination he reported having accumulated 1,290 total hours of flight experience, of which 45 hours had been accumulated within the past 6 months.

A copy of the accident helicopter's maintenance records were obtained from the repair station which maintained the helicopter, and the records indicated that it had last been given an annual inspection on May 7, 2004. At the time of the annual inspection the helicopter had accumulated a total of 146.7 flight hours. It had also been given an a 25 hour inspection on December 30, 2004, at which time it had accumulated a total flight time of 226.1 flight hours since new.



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