NTSB Releases Report After Deadly Helicopter Crash in Fountain Hills

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NTSB Releases Report After Deadly Helicopter Crash in Fountain Hills

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its report on a fatal helicopter crash near Fountain Hills earlier this month.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB previously confirmed an investigation into the “airworthiness” of the helicopter that crashed, claiming two lives.

Court documents indicated the chopper had a history of concerns, with the NTSB report confirming the helicopter’s  doomed final flight was taken to “evaluate developmental main rotor blades that had been installed on the helicopter.”

The report also said, “The test flight legs consisted of multiple autorotations at maximum gross weight involving a simulated loss of engine power. The accident flight was the last test flight of the main rotor blades before the certification process.”

A witness reportedly heard a loud boom before seeing the aircraft fall from the sky. She recorded a portion of the crash on her cellular device.

Parts of the helicopter were scattered across a mile-long area.

Stephen Estes, an engineering manager with Van Horn Aviation, and Rucie Moore, a contract experimental test pilot, perished in the crash.

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