NTSB Identification: MIA97FA248.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 19, 1997 in SALUDA, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/1998
Aircraft: Bell 47G, registration: N70747
Injuries: 2 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.

On the day of the accident, the pilot/owner of a helicopter (hel) arrived at the airport with the hel on a flatbed trailer. A CFI was to fly with the owner & give him instruction to eventually obtain a hel rating. There were no witnesses to the pre-flight, takeoff, or flight. Some people at the airport, who knew the CFI, were aware that he was going to provide instruction to the owner. They also had knowledge that the owner had very little flight time in the hel, and that instruction would include basics of hel instruction, including hovering & autorotations. Two watches, found in the wreckage, were stopped at 1410. About 1520, the local fire department was notified of a fire located about 1 mile northeast of the airport. The hel was found in a heavily wooded area, consumed by fire. Also, there was a tree near the hel wreckage, which was found broken. No other broken trees were found in the area. All the parts of the hel were found within the impact area. The tachometer was found in the wreckage with the face destroyed by heat damage, rendering the numbers unreadable. However, the needles were still in place & were split with the smaller needle (rotor) about 45 degree split from the large needle (engine). Examination of the wreckage, including partial teardown of the engine & teardown of the transmission, did not reveal any discrepancies.

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

in-flight collision with a tree, for undetermined reason(s).

Full narrative available

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