NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal crash

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

The National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report that the pilot in a fatal helicopter crash in Chugiak had been conducting practice flights with an external load.

The NTSB report published Friday says the crash Wednesday occurred as the Robinson R-44 operated by Global Positioning Services Inc. was flying at the Birchwood Airport with a 150-foot long line attached to a 55-gallon barrel filled with fluid. A witness saw the nose of the helicopter pitch up before it crashed.

The NTSB says the flight was in preparation for an upcoming project.

The 62-year-old pilot, Thomas Moore of Anchorage, died in the crash. A bystander sustained burn injuries while trying to rescue Moore.

The NTSB report says visibility was 10 miles and winds slightly more than 3 mph.