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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193874
Last updated: 12 November 2021
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Time:10:33 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B407 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 407
Owner/operator:Westwind Helicopters
Registration: N1371
MSN: 53182
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Timbalier Bay, LA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Offshore installation South Timbalier 37, GOM
Destination airport:Houma, LA (HUM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial pilot was repositioning the helicopter from an offshore oil platform to the operator's home base in visual meteorological conditions. When the helicopter did not return as expected, the operator initiated a search; the helicopter wreckage was found in a shallow marsh area just off shore. No radio distress calls were received from the pilot, and the skid-mounted emergency float system was not deployed. Onboard flight-following equipment recorded a straight flight path tracking directly to the intended destination with a gradual descent just prior to impact.

Accident flight data extracted from the helicopter's engine control unit did not show any faults with the engine. Detailed examinations of the helicopter's airframe, drive system, and flight controls did not reveal any preimpact anomalies. Examination and full teardown of the engine did not reveal any anomalies and indicated that the engine was operating at the time of impact.

Airframe deformations were consistent with a slightly nose-low and left-skid-down attitude at the time of impact; therefore, it is unlikely that the pilot experienced a loss of control. Given the absence of mechanical anomalies, the fact that the pilot did not make a distress call or activate the emergency float system, and the helicopter's relatively straight recorded flight path, it is likely that the helicopter was operating normally at the time of impact. Further, toxicology testing and autopsy findings did not indicate any evidence of pilot impairment. It could not be determined why the pilot failed to recognize the helicopter's descent and maintain a proper altitude above the water.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain proper altitude resulting in a collision with water for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.



FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

28-Feb-2017 09:47 gerard57 Added
28-Feb-2017 16:33 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source]
28-Feb-2017 23:41 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Nature]
02-Mar-2017 06:49 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
04-Mar-2017 20:18 Aerossurance Updated [Time]
18-Mar-2017 10:47 Aerossurance Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Feb-2018 16:21 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
01-Mar-2018 17:57 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Jun-2018 16:00 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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