NTSB Identification: MIA97FA070.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 23, 1997 in FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206-B3, registration: N2047R
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses observed the helicopter flying from north to south and collide with a 253-foot agl radio tower at about the 235-foot level. The main rotor blades partially separated and the helicopter descended uncontrolled to ground impact. The radio tower was depicted on aviation charts and was marked by an operational strobe light. The pilot had many years of operational experience in the area. Postmortem examination of the pilot showed he suffered from moderate chronic pulmonary emphysema and that he had a carbon monoxide level in the blood of about 26%. The pilot was reported to smoke about 1 pack of cigarettes daily. The 3 passengers did not have carbon monoxide in their blood. The source of the carbon monoxide level in the pilot could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's incapacitation by carbon monoxide from undetermined sources which led to his diminished ability to see and avoid a radio tower.

Full narrative available

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