NTSB Identification: WPR14TA176
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Bullfrog, UT
Aircraft: HUGHES OH 6, registration: N37929
Injuries: 2 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 public aircraft accident report.

On April 29, 2014, at 1030 mountain daylight time, a Hughes OH-6 helicopter, N37929, was in a 50-foot hover when it started to rotate uncontrollably about 14.5 miles east of the Bullfrog Basin Airport, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Bullfrog, Utah. The pilot executed a hovering autorotation into steeply sloped canyon terrain. After settling on a canyon ledge, the helicopter rolled down hill about 60 feet. The commercial helicopter pilot and other crewmember were seriously injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The United States Department of Agriculture and Wildlife Services operated the helicopter as a public-use flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a company flight plan was active. The flight originated at Hanksville Airport at 0930.

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to locate a radio tagged Bighorn sheep. They were hovering about 50 feet above ground level (agl) when the helicopter suddenly yawed to the left in an uncommanded fashion. The pilot lowered the collective and autorotated to a rock ledge. After touching down on the ledge, the helicopter tipped over and tumbled downslope about 60 feet, severing off the tail boom in the process. The pilot egressed the helicopter, used a cell phone to request assistance, and activated his personal locator beacon (SPOT) device. A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter located the aircrew and wreckage, and coordinated a rescue.

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