On July 6, 2005, at approximately 1630 Central European Summer Time, an Erickson Air-Crane, Inc., S-64F helicopter, N236AC, was destroyed following impact with terrain and postimpact fire at Fiumicino International Airport, Rome, Italy. A maintenance crew chief was fatally injured; however the commercial pilot and a second maintenance crew chief received minor injuries, while an Italian National copilot received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that was originating at the time of the accident; their destination was Ciampino Airport, approximately 10 nautical miles away.

The helicopter was hovering at approximately 60 to 75 feet while performing a hydraulic check. The American pilot was reading the checklist while the Italian National pilot was flying. The American pilot reported that the helicopter suddenly pitched up approximately 75 degrees, fell backwards permitting the antitorque rotor to impact the asphalt. He said that the aircraft rolled on its left side and immediately started to burn. The survivors escaped out the right hand pilot window.

The accident is under the jurisdiction of the Italian government's Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV). Further information can be obtained from:

Ing. Gianluigi Guanziroli,
Via A. Benigni, 53,
00156 Rome, Italy.

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