On December 15, 2004, at approximately 0840 mountain standard time, a Robinson R22, N333UH, operated by Universal Helicopters, Inc., was substantially damaged when it impacted water during takeoff from Lincoln Beach, located on the southeast shore of Utah Lake, near Provo, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction reported minor injuries. The local flight originated from Provo Municipal Airport, Provo, Utah, at approximately 0800.

According to a statement submitted by the flight instructor, they were practicing touch and go landings and had landed on the beach. The flight instructor took control of the helicopter and departed in the direction of the lake. He stated that due to the gray sky, it was difficult to discern between the water and the sky. He could "see the water getting closer [and] pulled power and leveled off." The skid touched the water and the helicopter "flipped over."

According to the student; however, the instructor lowered the helicopter's nose during the turn. The instructor "leveled the ship and pulled in power." The student stated that the helicopter "lost lift and sank towards the water." The landing skid caught the water and the helicopter rolled over and came to rest on its skids in approximately 2 feet of water, 250 feet off shore. The main rotor blades were bent and the cabin area was crushed. An examination of the helicopter's systems, conducted by the FAA, revealed no anomalies.

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