NTSB Identification: WPR12LA328
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Thursday, July 26, 2012 in The Dalles, OR
Aircraft: HUGHES HELICOPTERS INC 369E, registration: N427WC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 26, 2012, at 1520 Pacific daylight time, while conducting external load operations, a Hughes 369E helicopter, N427WC, experienced a partial loss of engine power and landed hard 8 miles east of The Dalles, Oregon. Wilson Construction Company operated the helicopter under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 133. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot reported to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that he was in a hover and began to lift a load of steel cables off the ground when the helicopter lost power. The pilot had a limited memory of the event but said that after the loss of power the helicopter landed hard. Witnesses said they heard a change in the sound of the helicopter, and one witness saw the helicopter impact the ground. Several witnesses said that the engine was still running on the ground after the impact.

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