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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45181
Last updated: 26 September 2017
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Date:25-JUN-2003
Time:08:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 II
Owner/operator:Berg Aviation Inc
Registration: N7512P
C/n / msn: 10046
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Coleta, Illinois -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Destination airport:Kansas City, Missouri
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
On June 25, 2003, about 08:30 CDT (Central Daylight Time), a Robinson R44 II helicopter, N7512P, operated by Berg Aviation Inc., was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Coleta, Illinois. The business flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from a private airfield near Mukwonago, Wisconsin, about 07:30,CDT and was en route to Kansas City, Missouri, when it impacted terrain. The Whiteside County Sheriff's Department report showed that a 911 call was received at 08:32 CDT. The helicopter was found in a cornfield at 41 degrees 54.501 minutes North latitude and 89 degrees 48.207 minutes West longitude.

The helicopter was destroyed on impact with terrain following an uncontrolled descent from cruise flight. A witness stated, "The copter didn't seem to have maneuvering difficulty. It still continued to lose altitude. I noticed the propeller losing speed. The copter appeared to lose half of its [altitude] very quickly. Before the copter actually went down, the blades appeared to stop rotation and then I counted 2 blades."

Weather was: Wind 200 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 8 statute miles; sky condition clear. An on-scene investigation was conducted and no helicopter pre-impact anomalies were detected. No pre-impact anomalies were detected in the testing of the magnetos, fuel distribution valve, distribution lines, fuel injectors, fuel servo, hydraulic system, and the engine. An analysis of the liquid from the fuel servo revealed "the presence of aviation gasoline."

On the back of the student pilot's certificate was stated in bold lettering, "Passenger-Carrying Prohibited." Two passengers were fatally injured. Toxicological testing revealed, "0.377 (ug/ml, ug/g) AMPHETAMINE detected in Blood, 10.479 (ug/ml, ug/g) AMPHETAMINE detected in Urine, 0.626 (ug/mL, ug/g) FLUOXETINE detected in Blood, FLUOXETINE present in Urine, NORFLUOXETINE present in Blood, NORFLUOXETINE present in URINE."

FAR 91.17 stated, "No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft ... while using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety." Forensic Toxicology Information Sheet excerpts stated, "Amphetamine is a widely used drug of abuse. However, amphetamine is used in medicine primarily in combination with dextroamphetamine for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. ...Fluoxetine is a prescription antidepressant also indicated for the use of obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa (an eating disorder) and often known by the trade name Prozac. Norfluoxetine is a metabolite of fluoxetine. Amphetamine is a stimulant, often known informally as "speed." It may be prescribed for conditions including narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, but it is often a drug of abuse and has a high incidence of addiction.

CAUSE: The pilot not maintaining main rotor RPM during cruise flight. The factor in the two passenger's fatal injuries was the pilot not following directives concerning the prohibition of carrying passengers while a student pilot. Other factors were the pilot's use of inappropriate medication/drugs, and the impairment of the pilot by amphetamine.

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: CHI03FA181 at http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20030701X00975&ntsbno=CHI03FA181&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=7512P


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
02-Sep-2016 21:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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