Accident Hughes 369HS N471M, Saturday 2 March 2013
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Date:Saturday 2 March 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 369HS
Owner/operator:Jerrys Helicopter Service Inc
Registration: N471M
MSN: 1140671S
Year of manufacture:1974
Total airframe hrs:9921 hours
Engine model:Allison 250-C18
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Off Majuro Atoll -   Marshall Islands
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Latangai Island, PO
Destination airport:Latangai Island, PO
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that, as he was flying toward a school of fish, he observed a nearby fishing vessel moving in the same general direction. He flew over the vessel then continued toward a fish aggregating device (FAD), which is a floating object designed and strategically placed to attract fish; it was located about 0.7 mile away from the vessel. As the pilot approached the FAD, he circled twice and then descended the helicopter into a low hover over the FAD. The helicopter was positioned into the wind, and the vessel was approaching the helicopter from behind. With the helicopter still in a low hover, the fish spotter reached out of the helicopter to attach a radio buoy to the FAD. Shortly after, the helicopter was struck from behind by the vessel. The helicopter subsequently plunged into the ocean.
The fish master, who was at the controls of the vessel, reported that he observed the helicopter circle twice before it appeared to fly out of the area. He was slowing the vessel when it was about 500 meters (0.3 mile) from the FAD when he observed the helicopter in front of the vessel. The captain of the vessel reported that he was on the vessel’s helicopter deck when he noticed the helicopter circle twice and then descend to a hover. He stated that he was unsure what the helicopter was doing until he saw the fish spotter reach for the FAD. At this time, he felt the fish master reverse the vessel; however, it still impacted the helicopter’s tail.
The Federal Aviation Administration Model Civil Aviation Regulations, Version 2.7, Part 11 states, “Each operator shall conduct operations so as not to endanger persons or property on the surface nor aircraft in flight.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard Navigation Rules state, “every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.” Both the pilot and the fish master of the vessel should have been adequately monitoring their environment and their failure to do so resulted in a collision.

Probable Cause: The failure of both the pilot and the fish master of the vessel to adequately monitor their environment, which resulted in a collision.




Revision history:

12-Mar-2013 12:17 gerard57 Added
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 14:14 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Jun-2022 07:23 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
09-Jul-2022 14:21 rvargast17 Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Damage]

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