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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NTSB Probes PHI Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTB) is investigating the fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter in Louisiana on Jan. 4 shortly after it took off to transport workers to an offshore oil platform. Eight of the nine persons aboard perished, and one person is listed in critical condition. The S-76 (N748P), operated by PHI, crashed into swampy terrain just north of the Gulf of Mexico coastline near Morgan City, LA.  The aircraft was on a Part 135 revenue flight to oil platform number 301B.  It had taken off from Amelia, LA about seven minutes before the fatal accident.  There were no radio reports of problems from the crew.  Weather at the time is reported to have been visual flight rule conditions, with scattered clouds at 1,000 feet and 10 miles visibility. The aircraft's combination cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder was recovered from the wreckage on Monday and arrived today at the Board's laboratories in Washington, D.C. for readout. Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration, PHI, Sikorsky Aircraft and Turbomeca, the engine manufacturer.
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