Preliminary Report: Bell Misses Ship in Gulf

 - September 22, 2006, 5:02 AM

Bell 222B, Gulf of Mexico, Feb. 19, 2006–Approaching the ship Shaula Star in the Gulf of Mexico for a night VMC landing, the ATP-rated pilot of the Central Helicopters Bell 222 said he had the ship in sight and was configuring the helicopter for the landing when he “looked up just in time to see the water in the windscreen.” He experienced no mechanical problems with the helicopter before crashing into the Gulf. The pilot and the commercial copilot were not injured. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the flight from William P. Hobby Airport, near Houston, where Central Helicopters is based. The ship was approximately 85 miles south of Galveston.