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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR18LA242
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Saturday, August 25, 2018 in Dardanelle, CA
Aircraft: Bell 212, registration: N512TA
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 August 25, 2018, about 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 212 helicopter, N512TA, impacted terrain about a one-half mile north of Dardanelle, California. The airline transport pilot received serious injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the top of the fuselage, the main rotor blades and the tail rotor ninety-degree gearbox. The helicopter was registered to Roberts Aircraft Company and operated by Trans Aero Limited of Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a public aircraft external load flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight about the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from a staging area near Bald Mountain, California about 1445.

The pilot of a second helicopter reported that the accident pilot had requested to return to a nearby landing area due to an unspecified problem. Near the landing area, the observing pilot reported that the accident pilot stated over the radio that the "problem went away "however, immediately after, he observed the accident helicopter in an approximate 40° nose-down attitude. The helicopter then leveled and turned 360° while descending into terrain. Subsequently, the helicopter's main rotor blades struck the terrain and the helicopter rolled over and came to rest on its left side.

The helicopter was relocated to a secure location for further examination.