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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45054
Last updated: 15 March 2021
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Date:10-OCT-2003
Time:10:49
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L-3 LongRanger III
Owner/operator:Petroleum Helicopters (PHI)
Registration: N81671
C/n / msn: 51301
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:W. Cameron 509, Gulf of Mexico -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Offshore
Departure airport:High Island 330, Gulf of Mexico
Destination airport:W. Cameron 509, Gulf of Mexico
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The 18,913-hour non-instrument rated commercial pilot lost control of the helicopter after encountering adverse weather conditions while maneuvering to land at an offshore platform. The helicopter impacted into the ocean and sank in a water depth of 150 to 180 feet. The recovery of the remains of the helicopter was delayed for several days due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions. Flight control continuity could not be established due to the extensive fragmentation of the wreckage. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any anomalies or discrepancies with the airframe or powerplant. The emergency floats were found not to be deployed. The helicopter was found to be within weight and balance limits during all facets of the flight. Radio communications between the operator's communications center and the pilot revealed misinformation concerning operational and weather conditions. Witnesses and company weather reporting stations reported weather conditions at the time of the accident as visibility varying between 1/4 statute miles and 3 statute miles, overcast ceilings varying between 100 feet above ground level (agl) to 1,300 feet agl, thunderstorms, and rain.
Probable Cause: The pilot's loss of control following an inadvertent encounter with adverse weather conditions. Contributing factors were the prevailing thunderstorms, the low ceilings, and the miscommunication between the pilot and the company's communication center in obtaining in-flight weather advisories, including aircraft location.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20031021X01791&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
11-Jun-2010 02:24 TB Updated [Operator, Other fatalities]
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 20:01 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

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