NTSB Identification: WPR10LA354
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 16, 2010 in Salt Lake City, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N944DW
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had just landed the helicopter on a flatbed trailer when it was determined that it needed to be moved laterally in order for its skids to be correctly attached to the trailer. Therefore the pilot applied enough collective to make the helicopter "light on the skids," and then he applied cyclic input meant to slide the helicopter laterally. When the helicopter did not slide sideways as the pilot desired, he continued to apply left cyclic input, whereupon the helicopter suddenly began to move in a manner that resulted in it starting to fall off the trailer. During the pilot's attempt to regain directional control by lifting the helicopter clear of the trailer, its main rotor blades came in contact with the truck that the trailer was attached to. Once the blades contacted the truck, the helicopter rotated about 180 degrees and impacted the tarmac beside the trailer. Soon after it impacted the tarmac, a fast-growing fire began. During the accident sequence, an individual who was helping with the loading process was struck by a main rotor blade.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's loss of directional control while attempting to move the helicopter laterally without first lifting it fully off its landing platform.

Full narrative available

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