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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 36071
Last updated: 8 May 2019
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Date:05-OCT-1998
Time:09:06
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS55 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 355F-1
Owner/operator:Tex Air Helicopters
Registration: N5792H
C/n / msn: 5132
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Vermilion 331, Gulf of Mexico -   Atlantic Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Cameron, LA
Destination airport:Vermilion 370, GM (NONE)
Narrative:
The Bell 407 collided with an Aerospatiale AS-355-F1 while both helicopters were in cruise flight at 1,000 AGL over open ocean in the Gulf of Mexico. Both aircraft were being flown single pilot and were positioning flights between offshore platforms. The pilot of the Bell initiated an autorotation to the water and was rescued. The pilot of the Aerospatiale was fatally injured during the collision/water impact sequence and his helicopter impacted the water and sank into the ocean. Physical evidence on the recovered Bell wreckage indicated that the main rotor blades of the Aerospaciale struck the nose section of the Bell, removing the windshield, chin bubble and anti-torque pedals. The Bell's direct flight course was about 265 degrees. The Aerospatiale's direct course was about 155 degrees. The Bell pilot did not see the Aerospatiale until just before impact. The Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference (HSAC) had published a Recommended Practice (RP) in 1993 for standardized vertical separation of helicopters when flying in the offshore environment. Excerpts are: 'Helicopters operating enroute to and from offshore locations, below 3,000 feet, weather permitting, should use [the following] enroute altitudes; Magnetic Heading of 0 to 179 degrees - 750 feet or 1,750 feet, or 2,750 feet, Magnetic Heading of 180 to 359 degrees - 1,250 feet or 2,250 feet.' These recommended altitudes, if used, provide a minimum of 500 feet vertical clearance. Both operators, who are participating members in HSAC, did not have the HSAC-RP No. 93.1 included in their respective operations manuals. The RP's are recommended and not mandatory. CAUSE: the failure of both pilots to see and avoid each other's aircraft during cruise flight. Factors were the failure of both pilots to use a known safety advisory recommendation and the failure of both operators to implement the recommendation as a company operating procedure.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001211X11250


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:22 ASN Update Bot Updated

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