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Accident Report Detail

Crash into Potomac River, LifeNet, Inc., Eurocopter EC-135 P2, N136LN

Executive Summary

​On January 10, 2005, about 2311 eastern standard time,1 a Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH EC-135 P2 helicopter, N136LN, operated by LifeNet, Inc., as Life Evac 2, crashed into the Potomac River during low-altitude cruise flight near Oxon Hill, Maryland. The certificated commercial pilot and the flight paramedic were killed, and the flight nurse received serious injuries. The helicopter was destroyed. The positioning flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 and visual flight rules (VFR) with a company flight plan filed. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s failure to identify and arrest the helicopter’s descent, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident were the dark night conditions, limited outside visual references, and the lack of an operable radar altimeter in the helicopter.

Accident Location: Oxon Hill , MD    
Accident Date: 1/10/2005
Accident ID: NYC05MA039

Date Adopted: 12/14/2007
NTSB Number: AAB-07-04
NTIS Number: