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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 35077
Last updated: 20 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II
Registration: N700TH
MSN: 45466
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Irvine, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:San Diego, CA (SAN)
Destination airport:Orange County, CA (SNA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot was flying the prototype 2-engine Bell 206L1 back to base from a series of demonstration flights. En route he obtained the current destination weather and forecast conditions from Flight Watch. The current weather was given as 800 scattered with 6 miles, and the forecast called for clear conditions until 2300, followed by 800 overcast with 3 miles. As the flight neared the accident site the pilot was over a broken to overcast layer. Calculations showed the helicopter had about 43 minutes of fuel remaining at that point. The pilot contacted the MCAS El Toro air traffic control tower about 10 miles east at 2,000 feet msl. He told the military controller, 'I need to look for a hole', and the controller provided a suggested heading . Shortly thereafter, the pilot inquired 'Is it o.k. to descend here?' The controller stated 'Just fine, descend right there sir.' The pilot asked the controller what his minimum altitude was at this location and was advised to standby. That was the last communication received from the helicopter. The helicopter was certified for instrument flight. CAUSE: the pilot's intentional VFR flight into IMC conditions and failure to maintain an adequate terrain clearance altitude, and the local controller's improper use of ATC procedure/technique. Factors in the accident were the helicopter's low fuel state and lack of the required equipment for IFR flight.



Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added

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