Factual Report: Jetranger lifts off without pilot

 - January 24, 2007, 10:11 AM

Bell 206B JetRanger, Boulder City, Nev., Nov. 11, 2006–The commercial pilot of Jet-Ranger N59571 was preparing for a local tour flight at a privately owned heliport at the Hacienda Hotel. He started the helicopter, did a runup and performed preflight checks. After increasing the engine and rotor rpm to 100 percent and checking the generator load, he left the cockpit to disconnect the APU and move it away from the helicopter. When he heard a change in the sound of the engine, he turned around to see the front of the skids lifting off the ground. The helicopter backed up, rolled over and fell down an embankment; it was substantially damaged.