NTSB Identification: MKC90FA130.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43806.
Accident occurred Friday, June 15, 1990 in CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1992
Aircraft: BELL 47G-3B1, registration: N67223
Injuries: 3 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.

THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE TERRAIN AND A FENCE, SHORTLY AFTER THE PILOT TOOK OFF FROM A FAIR GROUND AT NIGHT ON A SIGHT-SEEING FLIGHT. A HOME VIDEO RECORDING OF THE TAKEOFF SHOWED AGGRESSIVE MANEUVERING OF THE HELICOPTER WITH RAPID CHANGES IN AIRCRAFT ATTITUDE, DIRECTION, AND ALTITUDE. A WITNESS REPORTED THAT AFTER TAKEOFF, THE PILOT MADE A TURN THAT 'WAS NOT SAFE,' AND THEN IT DEPARTED AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 50 FT AGL BEFORE CRASHING ABOUT 1/8 MI AWAY. ANOTHER WITNESS REPORTED THAT BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, THE HELICOPTER WAS FLYING AT LOW ALTITUDE ALONG A ROAD AND NEAR A POWER LINE. ACCORDING TO HIM, THE HELICOPTER WAS IN PROXIMITY OF THE POWER LINE, WHEN IT 'SWUNG TO THE LEFT, THEN TURNED UPSIDE DOWN AND PLOWED INTO THE GROUND.' NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEM WAS FOUND WITH THE AIRFRAME OR POWERPLANT.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER DURING MANEUVERING FLIGHT. DARKNESS AND THE PILOT'S MANNER OF FLYING THE AIRCRAFT (OSTENTATIOUS DISPLAY) WERE CONSIDERED TO BE RELATED FACTORS.

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