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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44206
Last updated: 20 November 2017
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44
Owner/operator:Patrick Pfeifhofer
Registration: N7085U
C/n / msn: 0607
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Helena, MT -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Butte, MT (BTM)
Destination airport:Helena, MT
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial helicopter instructor pilot, who had come to the United States to learn to fly helicopters about four years earlier, had just concluded the evening by celebrating his twenty-first birthday and watching a football game. Distraught over personal matters, the pilot departed the party and drove from Helena, Montana, to Butte, Montana. After arriving at the helicopter operation where he was employed, the pilot secured a helicopter and departed on an unauthorized night flight to Helena. After his arrival in Helena, and while airborne, the pilot called the residence where he had previously departed from and spoke with friends, indicating that he was flying, losing control of the aircraft, and running out of fuel. The pilot also said that he was going to commit suicide, as he "could not go on like this any longer." A review of the taped conversation by local law enforcement investigators failed to indicate that the pilot ever said he was losing control or running out of fuel. Post-accident observations by Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspectors indicated that the aircraft had been consumed by fire. No anomalies with the helicopter were noted, that would have precluded normal operations. Law enforcement personnel who searched the pilot's apartment located a three-page note, which revealed his intention to commit suicide. The pilot had consumed alcohol in the hours before the accident, and two twelve ounce bottles of beer were recovered at the accident site. The toxicology report revealed a high alcohol level in the pilot's system, and the autopsy report indicated the manner of death as "suicide."

CAUSE: The pilot's intentional suicide. The unauthorized use of a helicopter and impairment by alcohol were factors.


Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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