Accident Sikorsky S-76A+ N517AL, 22 Sep 1997
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 31036
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Time:05:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S76 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sikorsky S-76A+
Owner/operator:Air Logistics
Registration: N517AL
MSN: 760121
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Patterson, LA -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Patterson Airport, LA
Destination airport:Grand Chenier, LA
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Collided with the ground following a loss of control during initial climb at night. The helicopter sustained substantial damage and the crew were seriously injured.

During the initial takeoff climb at night in fog, the copilot, who was the pilot flying, allowed the helicopter to enter a descent. The pilot-in-command (PIC) was adjusting the instrument lights at the copilot's request, and did not realize the helicopter was descending until it was approximately 100 feet above the ground. The PIC attempted to arrest the descent, but was unable to do so before the helicopter settled into a crop of sugar cane. After the helicopter 'plowed a path' through the crop, it briefly became airborne, then contacted the ground and came to a stop resting on its right side.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: failure of the copilot to maintain a positive rate of climb after takeoff, which led to an inadvertent descent and collision with a crop of sugar cane and the ground. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness, fog, and the pilot-in-command's inadequate monitoring of the copilot, when he diverted his attention to adjusting the instrument lights.


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
12-Jun-2010 11:42 TB Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Damage, Narrative]
14-Jun-2010 05:14 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Damage]
01-Jun-2013 16:00 TB Updated [Time, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
08-Nov-2013 14:42 TB Updated [Damage]
01-May-2016 17:48 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Narrative]

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