CHI02LA142
CHI02LA142

On May 24, 2002, at 1420 eastern standard time, a Bell 47G-4 helicopter, N1915B, owned and piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed by a post-impact fire when the main rotor blade inadvertently struck a light pole and the aircraft rolled over in Muncie, Indiana. The takeoff was being conducted at an off-airport site. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot and the one passenger reported no injuries. The flight was to depart from Muncie, Indiana, at the time of the accident and had the intended destination of the Indianapolis Brookside Airpark, Indianapolis, Indiana.

According to the pilot's written statement, a light rain had started prior to departure. He stated that he began to hover taxi toward an open parking lot for takeoff to the north. The pilot reported, "Upon lifting the helicopter to hover position, the wind moved me slightly to my right. The rain on the bubble was the main factor preventing me from seeing the 27 foot high light pole ..." The pilot stated that the main rotor blade struck the pole to the right and in front of the aircraft, six inches from the tip end of the blade. According to the pilot, the helicopter rolled over to the right and caught fire. The pilot stated that he and his passenger exited the helicopter to the front through the broken plastic bubble. The wind was reported to be 340 degrees at 13 knots at the time of the accident.

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