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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30606
Last updated: 28 April 2019
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Date:09-MAR-1999
Time:17:55
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas MD 600N
Owner/operator:San Bernardino Cty Sheriff Dpt
Registration: N626SB
C/n / msn: RN024
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:near Rialto, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:Rialto, CA (L67)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
During a routine law enforcement patrol flight, the pilot responded to the 4,700-foot mean sea level mountainside to investigate circumstances related to an apparent abandoned vehicle. Upon arriving at the site, the pilot performed a toe-in landing to discharge his crewmember. The crewmember proceeded to evaluate the vehicle while the pilot orbited the area. While orbiting, the pilot observed that low elevation clouds were approaching. However, the visibility initially was about 10 miles, and the cloud height appeared between 500 and 600 feet above the ground. After a few minutes, the crewmember returned to the helicopter, and they departed. Seconds after taking off the pilot lost visual reference with the ground. The pilot further indicated that he continued flying by reference to his flight instruments and the helicopter began spinning. Between 1 and 1.5 minutes later the spinning stopped, and the helicopter lost altitude until impacting the mountainside.
Probable Cause: The pilot's improper in-flight decision to maneuver in the area while observed inclement weather approached, which led to a loss of control. Contributing factors were the low ceilings, mountainous terrain and spatial disorientation.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001205X00356&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
29-Dec-2010 05:25 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
27-Feb-2013 08:10 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]
27-Feb-2013 10:15 TB Updated [Operator]
26-Nov-2017 10:53 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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