NTSB Identification: IAD97GA049.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 19, 1997 in LUCASVILLE, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Enstrom 280C, registration: N51662
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

: 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 public aircraft accident report.

The commercial helicopter pilot/owner received a request from the local authorities to assist in an official law enforcement search mission, at 0030. The pilot and a passenger took off from the airport and arrived on scene about 0155, after a 20 minute flight. A Deputy climbed into the helicopter as the spotter during the search mission. With three people onboard, the helicopter climbed to about 5 feet in altitude, landed, and the passenger exited the helicopter. The helicopter took off and made a climbing turn downwind to about 150 feet in altitude. Witnesses reported that the helicopter dropped nearly straight down into a wooded area. Minutes after the accident, when EMT personnel and another Deputy arrived at the crash site, the rotor blades were stopped, but the engine was running. Examination of the wreckage revealed no mechanical anomalies with the engine or airframe.

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

The pilot in command failure to maintain rotor rpm.

Full narrative available

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