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Pilot in Fatal Fishers Crash Cut Off Helicopter Trying to Land

A preliminary NTSB report finds that 78-year-old Norman Levine announced his intention to take off just seconds before the fatal crash.

FISHERS, Ind. -- The single-engine airplane that crashed last month at the Indy Metro North Airport was attempting to take off while a helicopter was trying to land, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the testimony of an unidentified flight instructor, 78-year-old Norman Levine announced his intention to take off just moments before his fatal crash.

"At this point, it was clear we would have to initiate a go around in order to avoid a collision," the instructor told NTSB investigators. “Instead of proceeding upwind and risking a collision while he was taking off, I opted to do a right 360 off of the southwest side of the approach… to ensure we would remain clear of his departure path.”

The instructor stated Levine never responded to any of his radio calls. When he looped back to the airport to attempt another landing, he saw "a fire in the grass off of the departure end of the runway" and called for help.

The crash remains under investigation. A final report from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected sometime in 2018.

(Photo by RTV6.)

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