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NTSB releases preliminary report on Robinson R44 news helicopter crash in Charlotte

The NTSB has released a preliminary report on the Nov. 22 crash involving a Robinson Helicopter R44 in Charlotte. The helicopter was operating a Part 91 aerial observation flight and both the pilot and passenger were killed. The helicopter belonged to the WBTV news station and was carrying WBTV meteorologist Jason Myers and Sky3 pilot Chip Tayag. According to the report, the flight was to provide training for Myers over a simulated news scene. Radar, ADS-B data and surveillance video revealed that the helicopter departed from the WBTV Heliport and headed southbound until flying over I-77. The pilot made three left 360-degree turns and during the third turn entered a quick descent. The helicopter crashed on a grassy area near the southbound lanes of I-77.RELATED STORY: 2 die in Robinson R44 news helicopter crash in Charlotte The NTSB said the pilot had been in contact with Charlotte's (CLT) air traffic control tower. According to the report, the review of communications between the pilot and the ATC tower did not reveal any distress calls. The helicopter was 20 ft from the point of initial impact and oriented on a heading of 015°, the NTSB said. No vehicles on the highway were involved and the crash did not result in any fire. Parts of the landing gear were found in the impact crater. The report said all of the important structural components and rotor blades were located within the main wreckage and everything was retained for further examination. At the time of the crash, the wind speed was 3 knots/ 340° and visibility was 10 miles. The type of flight filed was IFR and conditions at the accident site were VMC.
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