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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 68353
Last updated: 22 April 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Robinson R44 II
Owner/operator:Mojave Aviation
Registration: N29LE
C/n / msn: 10269
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mount Charleston, Nevada -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Las Vegas, NV (KVGT)
Destination airport:Las Vegas, NV (KVGT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot stated that he was orbiting at 50 knots about 100 feet above the 11,800-foot mean sea level (msl) mountain peak. As he flew the helicopter out of the leeward side of the peak, he encountered a downdraft. He maneuvered the helicopter toward a wide open valley that descended about 5,000 feet below. The downdraft pushed the helicopter into the face of the mountain, despite the pilot's application of full collective and descending flight into the valley. The helicopter impacted the mountain slope, caught fire, and tumbled. The pilot and his two passengers egressed the burning helicopter with minor injuries. The pilot hiked to the peak, and called for rescue using a cell phone. The calculated density altitude for the conditions was 13,918 feet. The published maximum operating density altitude for the helicopter was 14,000 feet. The pilot stated that the helicopter had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and terrain clearance while maneuvering at a low altitude above high terrain. Contributing to the accident was a downdraft and high density altitude.



Revision history:

28-Sep-2009 09:59 slowkid Added
28-Sep-2009 10:29 CAN Updated
29-Sep-2009 10:55 Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 16:15 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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