FTW02LA102
FTW02LA102

On March 26, 2002, at 1230 mountain standard time, a Bell 206L-3 single-engine helicopter, N30YB, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power while hovering in mountainous terrain near Oakley, Utah. The helicopter was owned and operated by Pulsar Helicopters, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and the 4 passengers were not injured, and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight originated from Bountiful, Utah, at 1100.

The pilot reported that he had flown several trips in and out of the ski areas of the Uintah Mountains at approximately 10,000-foot elevation. The pilot landed the helicopter in an open area in the bottom of a canyon, where the passengers boarded the helicopter. Subsequently, with the helicopter at hover, the pilot noted that the torque gauge was indicating 85-89 percent, the turbine outlet gas temperature was in the green, and everything else was in the green and functioning normally. The pilot turned the helicopter to the left to align with the takeoff area. During the turn, the torque gauge indicated 92 percent and stabilized. Subsequently, the torque gauge dropped to about 50 percent, The helicopter started a rapid and uncontrolled turn to the left, and descended. When the pilot applied collective, the low rpm audio came on and the helicopter started a rapid and uncontrolled turn to the right. The helicopter impacted on a hill, rolled to the left, and came to rest in the snow.

Local authorities, who responded to the accident site, found the helicopter resting on the left side. The helicopter sustained structural damage to the tail boom. The main rotor blades, tail rotor, transmission, and the tail rotor gearbox were also damaged.

The reason for the reported loss of engine power was not determined.

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