NTSB Identification: CHI02LA142.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 24, 2002 in Muncie, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2002
Aircraft: Bell 47G-4, registration: N1915B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 helicopter contacted a light pole during an off airport takeoff. The pilot reported that a light rain was present when he was hover taxiing toward an open parking lot for takeoff to the north. He stated that as the helicopter lifted into hover position the wind moved the aircraft to the right. According to the pilot, the rain on the windshield prevented him from seeing the 27 foot high light pole in front to the right and the main rotor blade struck the light pole six inches from the tip end of the blade. The pilot reported that the helicopter subsequently rolled over and caught fire. He and one passenger exited the aircraft without injury. The wind was reported to be 340 degrees at 13 knots at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot did not maintain directional control during hover taxi. Inadequate compensation for the crosswind conditions, the light rain, and the light pole were factors in the accident.

Full narrative available

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