Preliminary NTSB report says Fishers pilot ‘cut off’ helicopter before fatal crash

Photo from scene on August 31, 2017

FISHERS, Ind.– The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report Thursday on a small plane crash in Fishers that killed the plane’s pilot.

The crash occurred at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport, located at at 9913 Willow View Road in Fishers, around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 31.

According to the NTSB’s report, the Van’s RV-12 plane interrupted landing procedures for a Robinson R22 helicopter shortly before it crashed. A flight instructor told investigators the helicopter was getting ready to land when the plane announced it was departing from the same runway.

The flight instructor says he used his radio to let the tower know a helicopter was already approaching. There was no response. He also said to the plane’s pilot that it was “bad practice to cut off approaching aircraft,” according to the report, but again there was no response.

The helicopter quickly moved out of the way, then the instructor said he saw fire in the grass below.

Norman Levine, 78, was killed in the crash. Officials said he was a Florida native who lived in Carmel. An autopsy determined his cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma, indicating there was no medical incident prior to the crash.

The report shows sections of the airplane were separated from the plane along the path, but officials found no parts had fallen off before the crash.

It’s still unclear exactly what caused the crash. The NTSB’s final report could take more than a year to complete.

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