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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188354
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R66 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R66
Registration: N117TW
MSN: 0042
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Maricopa County, near Wikieup, north of Aguila, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Prescott, AZ (PRC)
Destination airport:Riverside, CA (RAL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The commercial pilot and the pilot-rated passenger departed on a cross-country positioning flight. The helicopter was reported overdue when it did not arrive at the destination, and the wreckage was located the following morning. There were no witnesses to the accident, no recorded radar data, and no recorded radio transmissions from the pilot.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preexisting anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the helicopter. There was evidence that a mast bumping event had occurred and that the main rotor blades had contacted the airframe, which resulted in an in-flight break-up. There was no recorded information available that could be used to determine the helicopter's airspeed, altitude, or the pilot's control inputs.

A weather study indicated that conditions were conducive to the development of significant updrafts or thermals of rising air and dust devils, and people near the accident site reported that there were numerous dust devils in the area.

It is likely that the helicopter encountered turbulence due to updrafts and/or dust devils, and the pilot lost control of the helicopter, which resulted in mast bumping.
Probable Cause: An encounter with turbulence due to updrafts and/or dust devils that resulted in mast bumping and an in-flight break-up.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

24-Jun-2016 15:42 Geno Added
25-Jun-2016 02:57 Geno Updated [Time, Source, Damage, Narrative]
04-Jul-2016 09:13 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Nature, Source, Narrative]
09-Jul-2016 14:50 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
12-Dec-2017 20:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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