NTSB Identification: CHI98GA025.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 30, 1997 in FRANKFORT, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/20/2000
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS350B, registration: N911RR
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 public aircraft accident report.

A witness reported that he was watching the helicopter traveling in an easterly direction flying low above the building when it circled back in a westerly direction somewhere around the east end of the runway. While heading west above the runway it looked like it was getting ready to land. He said that when the helicopter was about 5 to 10 feet above the ground he turned his back getting into his car. He heard an explosion and then a second explosion and when he turned around he saw the flames from above the truck which was parked between the airport and his car. He said he then took a few steps to the east and then saw the helicopter in flames. The helicopter was destroyed on impact with the terrain and a post-crash-fire alongside runway 09/27. A post accident examination of the helicopter disclosed no evidence of any pre-existing anomaly with the helicopter or the engine.

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

the pilot in command misjudged the clearance with the terrain during a dark night maneuvering approach to a runway. A related factor was the dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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