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Catalina, CA Hughes 500 crash


Huey
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Found out the incident was caused by a wirestrike. Thank God this wasn't a fatal strike.  I'm glad they all survived, but I am sad we lost such a great helicopter. The person who was piloting the bird was the partial owner. He was out sightseeing with some friends. The pilot is doing much better, though I believe he has a few broken ribs along with his jaw. Unfortunately the passenger is still in critical condition last I heard.

 

catalina_crash.0.jpg

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NTSB Identification: LAX06LA015

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2005 in Avalon, CA

Aircraft: Hughes 369D, registration: N268ST

Injuries: 2 Serious.

 

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

 

On October 19, 2005, at 1429 Pacific daylight time, a Hughes 369D, N268ST, collided with power lines during cruise flight and came to rest on a beach off Big Geiger Cove on Santa Catalina Island, Avalon, California. The pilot was operating the privately registered helicopter under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The helicopter sustained substantial damage; the commercial pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. The helicopter departed from Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California, with N22823, a Bell 206B, about 1300 for the personal flight. They were destined for Catalina Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

 

According to the passenger of the Bell helicopter, who was a witness to the accident, the helicopters departed Palomar Airport and flew north along the coastline until reaching the Long Beach area; the Bell helicopter trailed the accident helicopter by approximately 1/2 mile. The predetermined plan was to arrive at the coastline of the Santa Catalina Island, and then circle it counterclockwise, prior to the arriving at the airport. While approaching the proximity of the island, both helicopters began transmitting over a common frequency 123.45. As the accident helicopter arrived over the shoreline of the island at an altitude of about 400 feet, the accident pilot radioed that he had a problem. The witness in the Bell looked up and saw the accident helicopter porpoising back and forth before it struck a cliff and tumbled down to the beach. According to the witness, it appeared like the helicopter was attempting to fly forward while something was holding it back. The witness was flown to the site where he assisted the injured occupants until emergency crews arrived. While looking at the helicopter wreckage, the witness noted power lines wrapped around the skids of the helicopter.

 

The witness further stated that two power line poles held the wires. He thought that three wires had originally been attached; however, only one wire remained strung between the two poles. The poles were positioned on either side of a valley, at the approximate elevation where the pilot radioed that he had a problem. The pole on the north side of the valley still had the wires attached that stretched from the pole, down the cliff, to the helicopter's skids.

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Wow, what a shame!  I'm not flying yet, but I took an intro ride with Chin this last July 4th- I remember waiting next to the R22 we took and seeing this beauty next to me.  I was hoping to (eventually) do my transition in this one!  Does anyone know who the two were?  I'm not even officially a member of the community yet, but I still feel horrible about this!:(
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  • 11 months later...
<font color='#000000'>Found out the incident was caused by a wirestrike. Thank God this wasn't a fatal strike.  I'm glad they all survived, but I am sad we lost such a great helicopter. The person who was piloting the bird was the partial owner. He was out sightseeing with some friends. The pilot is doing much better, though I believe he has a few broken ribs along with his jaw. Unfortunately the passenger is still in critical condition last I heard.

 

catalina_crash.0.jpg</font>

My name is Joey Harper and I was the passenger flying with Randy Bozarth the day of the crash. I awoke from my coma 3 months later and although I now have many challenges I am happy to report that I am almost back to a 100%

 

My name is Joey Harper and I was the passenger flying with Randy Bozarth the day of the crash. I awoke from my coma 3 months later and although I now have many challenges I am happy to report that I am almost back to a 100%

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