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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 35961
Last updated: 12 November 2018
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Date:25-OCT-1991
Time:21:56
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B JetRanger
Owner/operator:Corporate Mobility Inc
Registration: N3456M
C/n / msn: 1391
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:6 miles W of Vallejo, Solano County, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Concord, California (CCR/KCCR)
Destination airport:Gnoss Field Airport, Novato, Calfornia (DVO/KDVO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
Destroyed October 25, 1991 when crashed approximately six miles west of Vallejo, California, United States (at approximate co ordinates 3809′11″N 12224′45″W)

The helicopter was operating a flight from Concord to Novato, a distance of about 27 miles. The pilot received a weather briefing in which VFR flight was not recommended due to low ceilings and low visibility. However, as he was familiar with the area he accepted a special VFR clearance through an airport traffic area.

About 20 miles from the departure point, witnesses observed the helicopter paralleling a highway at about 200 feet agl. The weather was reported to be a 200 foot overcast ceiling, gusty winds, heavy rain, and visibility of about 1/2 mile.

The witnesses observed the helicopter strike the top of a 223 foot transmission tower, approximately 150 feet south of Route 37, became impaled on it and exploded. The location of the transmission line was marked on the area sectional chart. The accident happened in darkness (21:56 Local Time). All three persons on board (pilot and two passengers) were killed. The passengers were the rock concert promoter Bill Graham and his girlfriend, Melissa Gold.

The NTSB determined the probable cause to be: The pilot's intentional flight into known adverse weather, continued flight into IMC, and improper altitude. Contributing to the accident were the low ceilings, poor visibility and restricted visual lookout.

The helicopter became welded to the 115,000 volt tower and a large crane was required to remove and lower it to the ground. A music concert at the Concord Pavilion was interrupted for a time due to a power surge and 23,000 homes were left without power until morning. A section of Route 37 was closed for days afterward and the tower was later repaired. Registration N3456M cancelled by the FAA on March 8, 1989 as "destroyed"

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: LAX92LA029
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=3456M
3. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=9475
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Graham_helicopter_crash
5. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/27/us/bill-graham-rock-impresario-dies-at-60-in-crash.html
6. http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/Graham-N3456M.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
25-Apr-2016 23:53 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:22 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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