Accident Bell 407 N97SP,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30438
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Date:Tuesday 17 August 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic B407 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Bell 407
Owner/operator:Delaware State Police
Registration: N97SP
MSN: 53297
Year of manufacture:1998
Total airframe hrs:230 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Georgetown, DE -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Aerial patrol
Departure airport:GED
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The State Police helicopter departed on a night flight within the state. Climbing through about 200 feet, the helicopter encountered low clouds. The pilot initiated a return to the airport. During the turn to the airport, he lost sight of the ground. The observer called to the pilot just prior to ground impact, and the pilot was able to cushion the ground impact. However, the skids collapsed. The pilot reported that on the way to the airport, he drove through patches of fog. At the airport, he could see 2 miles ground visibility with stars visible overhead, and therefore, he did not check weather. Recorded weather at the airport 1 hour prior to the accident reported a ceiling of 100 feet broken, 700 feet overcast and 10 minutes after the accident, a ceiling of 100 feet overcast. Similar observations were recorded at the closest weather stations to the north and south of the departure airport.

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper preflight evaluation of the weather, which resulted in inadvertent flight into IMC. Factors were the fog, and night conditions.



Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
01-Mar-2013 10:54 TB Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Source, Damage, Narrative]
14-Dec-2017 08:47 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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