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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 187029
Last updated: 2 June 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic EC35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter EC 135P1
Owner/operator:Metro Aviation
Registration: N311MS
C/n / msn: 0073
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Loon Lake, WA -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Colville, WA
Destination airport:Spokane, WA
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot reported that when he departed Colville, the weather was mostly clear with a visibility of more than 10 miles. He stated that as the helicopter approached the area around Loon Lake (approximately 30 miles southeast of Colville) they encountered heavy snow showers. The pilot further stated that, "While attempting to slow the helicopter and either turn around or make a precautionary landing on a road (Hwy 395) the helicopter entered a high rate of descent. I ended up making a hard landing on Hwy 395 in pretty much a complete white out." The aviation area forecast (FA) issued at 1945 PST on December 17, valid during the accident time frame, reported widely scattered snow showers East of the Cascades, to include Northeastern Washington. The pilot reported that he obtained a weather briefing via the Data Transmission Network (DTN) prior to the flight from Spokane.

Probable Cause: The pilot's inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) while in cruise flight, and an excessive descent rate. Factors include falling snow, whiteout conditions and dark night conditions.



Revision history:

07-May-2016 10:39 Aerossurance Added
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
09-Dec-2017 18:03 ASN Update Bot Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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