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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 36073
Last updated: 17 August 2017
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Date:04-MAR-1992
Time:19:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 350D
Owner/operator:Southwest Helicopters
Registration: N350AH
C/n / msn: 1478
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Fort Grant, Arizona -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Ambulance
Departure airport:Tucson Medical Center Heliport, AZ (37AZ)
Destination airport:Safford, AZ (SAD/KSAD)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
AFTER RECEIVING THE REQUEST FOR A MEDICAL EVACUATION MISSION, THE CREW CHECKED WEATHER WITH AN FAA FSS TO DETERMINE IF THE MISSION WOULD BE ACCEPTED. GROUND CLUTTER ON THE WEATHER RADAR PREVENTED A COMPLETE WEATHER BRIEF FOR ENROUTE MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THE PILOT GOT WEATHER FOR HIS DEPARTURE POINT. THE PILOT TOLD FSS '...I THINK I CAN MEANDER MY WAY THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS ON THAT ONE.' THE PILOT ACCEPTED THE MISSION.

AFTER TAKEOFF THE PILOT WAS TOLD BY FAA DEPARTURE CONTROL THERE WAS 'WEATHER' ON HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT 'BUT THE INTENSITY IS UNKNOWN.' RADAR SERVICE WAS TERMINATED AND THE CREW CONTINUED. THE SURVIVING CREW MEMBER STATED THAT AS THE FLIGHT PROGRESSED, EVERYTHING GOT 'BLACK.' HE SAID HE COULD NOT SEE OUTSIDE THE AIRCRAFT. HE SAID ABOUT 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE CRASH, THE PILOT TOLD THE CREW '...WE ARE GOING INADVERTENT.' MEANING, THEY WERE GOING INTO THE CLOUDS AND HE WOULD BE FLYING BY INSTRUMENTS. THE SURVIVOR SAID HE HEARD THE 'ALTITUDE BUZZER,' FOLLOWED BY THE IMPACT.

CAUSE: 1) THE PILOT INADEQUATELY EVALUATING THE ENROUTE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND, 2) THE PILOT MAKING THE INFLIGHT DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT INTO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. FACTORS IN THIS ACCIDENT WERE THE INABILITY OF THE PILOT TO SEE THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN DUE TO THE AMBIENT LIGHT CONDITIONS, CLOUDS, AND SNOW.

Sources:

1. NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001211X14306
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=350AH
3. http://planecrashmap.com/plane/az/N350AH/
4. http://aircrashed.com/aircraft/aLAX92FA136.shtml
5. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=11538


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
01-Jul-2014 21:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:22 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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