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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18534
Last updated: 24 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206A JetRanger
Owner/operator:P & I Data Services Ltd
Registration: G-OPNI
MSN: 83
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:English Channel, 2 miles south of Lyme Regis, Dorset -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Teignmouth, Devon
Destination airport:Denham, Buckinghamshire (EGLD)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Written off (destroyed) 5-4-1999 when crashed into the English Channel, two miles south of Lyme Regis, Dorset. The two persons on board (pilot and one passenger) sustained minor injuries. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report:

"Whilst en route from Teignmouth to Denham, and flying at 500 feet, the helicopter encountered deteriorating weather. The pilot stated that the flight had initially been in good visibility but he had then inadvertently flown into an area of mist. The pilot became disoriented and put the helicopter into a climb in an attempt to get clear. However, he then lost control but was able to recover when the helicopter came out between cloud layers.

The pilot contacted ATC and advised them of his situation and that he was not IMC rated. Because of the cloud, the pilot asked for radar vectors to the coast so that he would be able to descend over the sea. When clear of the coast the pilot commenced a descent but found he was unable to maintain a heading while descending on instruments. He again lost control and the helicopter began to turn back towards the cliffs in Lyme Bay. The helicopter continued to descend and impacted the sea in Lyme Bay in a tail low attitude shortly afterwards. After impacting the water the helicopter pitched forward and rolled over.

Both the pilot and passenger, who were wearing light clothing and did not have life jackets, managed to escape from the cabin and get on top of the up turned helicopter. Fortunately the helicopter continued to float and they were rescued by a fishing boat about 1 hour 20 minutes after the ditching. The accident happened in daylight (11:00 hours Local time) but in thick fog.

The pilot had watched television weather forecasts in the days preceding the flight but did not obtain a specific aviation forecast. The aviation forecast was for isolated areas of fog and drizzle in coastal areas with an expected 300 foot cloud base."

Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "helicopter destroyed". As a result, the registration G-OPNI was cancelled by the CAA on 20-1-2000 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"


1. CAA:
2. AAIB:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

8 Nov 1991 HB-XOR Heli Geneve 0 Lausanne - LSGL w/o

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
17-Jan-2009 11:24 harro Updated
11-Oct-2012 18:56 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Mar-2015 20:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Mar-2015 20:18 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code]
01-Jul-2016 19:35 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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