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Vegas Chopper Had Engine Work Before Crash

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — A federal crash investigator says a Las Vegas tour helicopter made a sudden climb and sharp turns just moments before plunging into a canyon near Lake Mead, killing all five people aboard.

National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind also says the aircraft engine and other parts were changed during routine maintenance the day before the crash.   Rosekind said the fatal flight was the fourth for the aircraft after the maintenance.

Rosekind said late Friday that radar records showed the Sundance Helicopter on a normal tour with a pilot and four passengers aboard before the 4:30 p.m. Wednesday crash.

Rosekind says NTSB investigators don’t know yet what the climb and turns mean.

He said the investigation of the crash will continue through the weekend, including reviews of the pilot’s life 72 hours before the crash and maintenance records of the AS-350B2 helicopter.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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