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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43290
Last updated: 3 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:Big Eye Helicopters
Registration: N5172K
C/n / msn: 1123D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Bismarck Sea, 03'32.65" S 149'34.05" E, 375 miles NE of Padang -   Papua New Guinea
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Fishing Vessel Laura Z, off Papua New Guinea
Destination airport:
On November 7, 1993, about 0145 hours Greenwich mean time (GMT), a Hughes 369D helicopter, N5172K, crashed about 375 miles northeast of Madang, Papua New Guinea, in the Bismarck Sea. The helicopter was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area fish spotting flight when the accident occurred. The helicopter, registered to the Laura Z Fishing Co. Inc., Saipan, and operated by Big Eye Helicopters, Guam, is presumed to be destroyed. The certificated commercial pilot and a crew member are presumed to have received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight departed the fishing vessel Laura Z about 0012 hours GMT.

The captain of the Laura Z reported the accident to the U.S. Coast Guard, Guam. The aircraft departed the vessel on a fish spotting flight and was being tracked on the ship's radar. At 0145 hours, the helicopter was about 27.5 miles from the ship on a 322 degree magnetic bearing when the radar return from the aircraft disappeared. There were no radio communications from the helicopter. The ship proceeded to the last known position, arriving at 0310 hours GMT. The ship dropped a radio marking buoy at the accident site located at latitude 03 degrees, 32.65 minutes south, and longitude 149 degrees, 34.05 degrees east.

The helicopter was equipped with fixed style floats. A search of the area revealed floating debris, fragments of the helicopter's floats, and personal items. The operator reported that a subsequent search of the area involving two additional vessels over the following two and one-half days failed to locate the crew.


1. NTSB Identification: LAX94LA041 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
24-Feb-2016 18:22 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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