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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 224754
Last updated: 19 September 2021
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Time:12:11 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic G2CA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Guimbal Cabri G2
Registration: N572MD
MSN: 1189
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Chesapeake Bay, off Kent Island, MD -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Fort Meade (Odenton), MD
Destination airport:Fort Meade (Odenton), MD
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument-rated pilot and passenger intended to fly the helicopter, which was not equipped for instrument flight, in order to photograph the passenger's family member fishing, despite a forecast of instrument meteorological conditions. The helicopter flew for about 11 minutes, making several left and right turns in the vicinity of where the family member was fishing at an altitude of about 175 ft. The passenger was texting the family member, and at one point asked "Can you see us? We are hitting the wall that we can't fly through." The family member responded, "not really," and the passenger sent one last text message stating, "Give me one more [GPS] pin to try." After the last message, the helicopter began to fly south over water and away from land and any natural horizon.

The wreckage was located in the water about 1.5 miles from the shoreline. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Analyses of weather information, witness statements, and photographs taken by the passenger were consistent with conditions of limited visibility and a lack of a visible horizon. In these limited visibility conditions, especially when flying away from shore, the pilot's workload would have increased as he divided his attention between maintaining control of the helicopter and an adequate altitude above the water using poor visual cues and positioning of the helicopter laterally while looking for the fishing vessel. These conditions were conducive to the both the development of spatial disorientation and loss of control, or an inadvertent descent into the water (due to distraction or a visual illusion). The ability of the pilot to detect any loss of control or a trajectory towards the water was significantly reduced as a result of the extremely low altitude in which the flight over water was conducted, the low visibility, the lack of instruments on board to allow for instrument flight, and his lack of instrument training and experience.

Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in an inadvertent descent into the water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to conduct the flight at a low altitude without sufficient cues to aid in the perception of attitude and altitude.


FAA register:


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

04-May-2019 18:34 Captain Adam Added
04-May-2019 22:04 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Source]
04-May-2019 23:43 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage]
05-May-2019 05:46 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Damage, Narrative]
05-May-2019 09:14 CPUGene Updated [Location]
05-May-2019 09:51 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Damage, Narrative]
05-May-2019 10:01 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-May-2019 10:11 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
30-May-2019 19:34 Iceman 29 Updated [Nature, Source, Narrative]
08-Sep-2020 12:44 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
08-Sep-2020 14:24 harro Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Feb-2021 18:23 Aerossurance Updated [Operator, Phase, Source, Narrative]
06-Feb-2021 10:41 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
28-Mar-2021 07:31 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
04-May-2021 06:58 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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