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N400BE accident description

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Tail numberN400BE
Accident dateJuly 19, 2008
Aircraft typeHughes 369D
LocationPrice, UT
Near 39.616111 N, -110.762778 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 19, 2008, about 1542 mountain daylight time, a Hughes 369D, N400BE, impacted terrain near Carbon County Airport, Price, Utah. BBP Air, LLC was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and two passengers were killed; the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The cross-country personal flight departed Carbon County Airport (PUC), about 1539, with a planned destination of Spanish Fork, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the pilot and passengers were departing from PUC following a fishing trip in the area. Based on fueling records at Price, and witness statements, it is estimated that the helicopter contained about 35 gallons of Jet-A fuel on takeoff.

A witness observed the helicopter take off toward the south and turn to the west. The helicopter was last seen descending slightly as it left the airport boundary. No identified witnesses observed the impact sequence. However, witnesses reported seeing a fireball shortly after the helicopter's departure.

The exact weight of the helicopter at the time of the accident could not be determined. However, based on pilot records, fueling records, and helicopter weight and balance records, the weight of the helicopter was determined to be about 2,800 pounds. The helicopter's certified gross weight is 3,000 pounds.

The closest official weather observation station was PUC, which was .7 nautical miles (nm) east of the accident site. The elevation of the weather observation station was 5,957 feet mean sea level (msl). An automated observation report for PUC was issued at 1553 MDT. It stated: winds variable degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 miles; skies clear; temperature 34/93 degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit; dew point 1/34 degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit; altimeter 30.05 inches of mercury. Based on this information, the density altitude was computed to be 9,330 feet msl.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.