Men with Minnesota ties identified as victims of Iowa helicopter crash

The fatal crash happened March 31.
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helicopter, Robinson R44

Stock image of an R44 Raven II helicopter. 

One of two people killed in a helicopter crash west of Des Moines, Iowa, last month was a pilot from Minneapolis. 

Authorities have now identified the victims as Ryan Doolittle, 30, of Minneapolis, and 23-year-old Benjamin Peterson, of Des Moines. Doolittle was originally from California while Peterson was originally from Marshall, Minnesota. 

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. on March 31 in a rural area near the line that separates Audubon and Guthrie counties, with a release from a county sheriff saying that “an individual was in the area of 240th Street and Robin Avenue when they heard a loud sound and observed a helicopter crashing."

A resident from Audubon County who witnessed the crash told KCCI that the chopper hit two power lines and then "flipped in the air and hit the ground and burst into flames immediately."

The helicopter was a R44 Raven II, which is described as four-seat light helicopter, according to crash data from the FAA. It was registered to MN Helicopters, Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and leased by Ride the Sky Helicopters, Inc. 

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