NTSB Identification: CHI01LA145.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 22, 2001 in Schoolcraft, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Bell Helicopter 407, registration: N5259N
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A pilot rated passenger who had been seated in the rear of the helicopter was fatally injured when he was struck by the main rotor blade upon exiting the helicopter. The helicopter was flown to the rear seat passengers residence and was landed on a low trailer, approximately 8 inches high. The pilot who had flow the helicopter to this location had been seated in the front right seat. The left front seat was occupied by another pilot and the pilot rated passenger was in the right rear seat. After landing, the right seat pilot and the passenger in the rear exited the helicopter. The left seat pilot held the controls waiting for the other two occupants to exit so he could fly the helicopter to another location. The left seat pilot reported that the passenger exited the right rear side of the helicopter and as the passenger neared the two-thirty position of the helicopter, he saw him falling forward. He reported the passenger fell to the ground and never moved. He reported he then shut down the engine and applied the rotor brake. The fatally injured passenger was a helicopter pilot. His family reported that he had been flying airplanes since the 1960's and had been a helicopter pilot since 1988.

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

The pilot rated passenger failed to maintain clearance with the rotor blades as he exited the helicopter.

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