NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The commercial-rated pilot and passenger were en route to an oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico. A witness, who was on the platform, saw the helicopter heading toward the platform. As the helicopter approached, it started to spin in a clockwise direction. The helicopter spun several times before it dropped to the water.
Examination of the helicopter and rotor system did not reveal any preimpact abnormalities. Weather stations located about 26 and 48 miles from the accident site reported favorable conditions with relatively light wind. Given the lack of specific wind information for the accident location and the lack of information regarding the helicopter's direction, speed, and altitude as it approached the platform, it could not be determined if the helicopter experienced a loss of tail rotor effectiveness.
A medical review of the pilot noted discrepancies between his declared medical conditions and medicine usage and those found during the autopsy and toxicology tests. However, there was not enough information to determine whether a medical issue resulted in the pilot’s loss of helicopter control.