N7771F accident descriptionGo to the Oregon map...
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|Accident date||July 24, 1994|
|Aircraft type||Hughes 369HS|
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On July 24, 1994, approximately 1030 Pacific daylight time, a Hughes 369HS helicopter, N7771F, collided with terrain while conducting a sightseeing flight at Ecola State Park, near Seaside, Oregon. The commercial pilot and his passenger were fatally injured in the crash. Visual meteorological conditions were reported in the Seaside vicinity at the time of the crash. There was no ELT reported, and there was no flight plan for the flight.
A hiker heard the impact of the helicopter, and turned to see what he believed to be parts of the helicopter falling from the cliffs along the Pacific Ocean shoreline, then ran to a telephone to notify authorities. Search and rescue personnel found an oil slick off Bird Point, in Tillamook Head Park, at 45 degrees 56.5 N, 123 degrees 59.5 W. The remains of the pilot and passenger were recovered by divers, with the pilot's remains being recovered on July 26.
The aircraft could not be recovered after several attempts. Divers reported very strong currents in the vicinity. Some small pieces of the aircraft were found weeks after the accident.
The mechanic for the operator refused to provide information regarding refueling or maintenance on the aircraft. He did state that the helicopter had departed from the operator's helipad outside Seaside, Oregon.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Autopsies were performed on both the pilot and his passenger by Drs. Edward Wilson and Karen Gunson, respectively, at Portland, Oregon. Cause of death was stated "drowned," and "asphyxiation by drowning," respectively.
Toxicological samples were tested by the FAA. No ethanol was detected in urine. Quinine was detected in urine. Carbon monoxide and cyanide analysis was not performed due to lack of suitable specimens.
On December 29, 1994, the aircraft logbooks and records were returned to the owner of record after inspection.