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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 201663
Last updated: 15 February 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic UH1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell UH-1H
Owner/operator:USDA Forestry Service
Registration: N525BM
C/n / msn: 66-16023
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Waynesville, NC -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Franklin, NC (1A5)
Destination airport:Waynesville, NC
Investigating agency: NTSB
According to a witness, N525BM, operated by the North Carolina Forest Service, departed Macon County Airport, Franklin, North Carolina, on September 7, 2000, about 0850 into visual flight rules weather. The FAA flight service stations had been promulgating "Airmet Sierra" warning of low ceilings and mountain obscurations for the Franklin/Waynesville area from 2000 of the night of September 6, 2000, to 1000 of the morning of September 7. The flight followed highway 23/74 to Sylva, continuing toward Waynesville's Haywood County Mountain Research Station where the rotorcraft, its onboard fire fighting equipment, and crew were to serve as a static display for school children. About 5 minutes out, the pilot radioed the Haywood County Forest Ranger who had the landing zone secured for his arrival that he would put the rotorcraft down and wait for unexpected fog to lift. Residents in West Waynesville saw and heard the rotorcraft try to pick its way in very heavy ground fog. The rotorcraft collided with trees in mountainous terrain south of West Waynesville at the 4,400-foot level. Examination at the crash site and factory examinations of the engine and rotor mast revealed no precrash mechanical malfunctions. Use of over-the-counter pharmaceutical compounds of cold and allergy medicines were found in toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.
Probable Cause: An in-flight encounter with ground level fog due to the pilot's decision to continue VMC flight into instrument conditions, resulting in an in-flight collision with trees.



Revision history:

24-Nov-2017 09:06 TB Added
12-Dec-2017 19:12 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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