Cause Unclear in Helicopter, Plane Fatal Collision

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board shows a helicopter was cleared for takeoff at a Maryland airport about two minutes before it crashed with an airplane that was cleared to land.

Three men were killed in the crash Oct. 23 near Frederick Municipal Airport.

Based on the preliminary report Saturday, The Frederick News-Post reports the airplane was cleared to land at 3:34 p.m. The helicopter was cleared for takeoff a minute later.

According to the report, the air traffic controller told the airplane pilot that there were three helicopters below the plane in the traffic pattern. The pilot said he had two helicopters in sight. But the crash happened seconds later.

The report did not reveal a cause for the crash or who was at fault.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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