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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 35995
Last updated: 26 September 2017
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Date:04-DEC-2000
Time:19:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44A
Owner/operator:Christian Cardiology PSC
Registration: N744FC
C/n / msn: 888
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Sandgap, Kentucky -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Manchester, KY
Destination airport:Lexington, KY
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
On December 4, 2000, about 19:10 EST (Eastern Standard Time) a Robinson R-44A, N744FC, operated by Christian Cardiology, Manchester, Kentucky, was destroyed when it impacted rising terrain near Sandgap, Kentucky. The non-instrument rated, certificated private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. No flight plan had been filed for the business flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The non-instrument rated pilot departed on a night cross-country flight with no record of a weather briefing. Although visual meteorological conditions prevailed, witnesses along the route of flight reported isolated areas of fog and low clouds were present. The terrain was rolling tree-covered hills with no ground lighting. Two witnesses in a vehicle saw a momentary glow behind a ridge covered by a low cloud.

A tree with freshly skinned bark located near the top of a ridge was found 670 feet prior to where the main wreckage was found. The debris trail between the tree and main wreckage included components from the battery located in the nose of the helicopter, side doors, windshield plexiglas, part of the trailing edge of one main rotor blade, and part of one tail rotor blade.

The helicopter burned at impact. No evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction was found with the helicopter or engine. The pilot's total flight experience was estimated at about 386 hours with 60 hours in make and model.

CAUSE: the pilot's improper weather evaluation, and his failure to maintain terrain clearance while operating over unlighted terrain at night. Factors were the isolated areas of fog, and night conditions.

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: NYC01FA053 at http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20010110X00080&ntsbno=NYC01FA053&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=744FC
3. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.asp?accidentkey=26951
4. http://helicopterflight.net/R44.htm
5. http://coptercrazy.brinkster.net/search/r44show.asp?start=851&count=50


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
18-Dec-2011 19:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Aug-2016 13:28 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:22 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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