NTSB Identification: NYC97LA097.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 21, 1997 in CLARKSBURG, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Enstrom 280-C, registration: N613LG
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The main rotor blades struck a building after the helicopter lifted off from a dolly. The pilot reported that he backed the helicopter out of an aircraft hangar aboard an electrically powered dolly. He said the dolly batteries were not charged and that he used a battery charger and an extension cord to move the helicopter outside. The pilot explained that he intended to start the helicopter, warm it up, and check aircraft systems while the batteries charged on the dolly. Once the batteries were charged, he would move the helicopter a further distance from the hangar for takeoff. The pilot had no recollection of the accident other than sitting in the helicopter with the engine and rotors operating. Examination of the accident site revealed the helicopter was facing the hangar, oriented 155 degrees magnetic, with the tail into '...a very strong wind.' The main rotor blades struck approximately 6 inches above the door opening and penetrated the building a distance of 2 feet, 7 inches.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance from the hangar.

Full narrative available

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