NTSB Opens Docket for Sundance Helo Crash

 - June 19, 2012, 4:00 PM

The NTSB has opened the docket on the Dec. 7, 2011, fatal accident involving a Las Vegas tour helicopter. The Eurocopter AS350B2, operated by Sundance Helicopters, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas. The pilot and four passengers were killed.

Radar data showed the helicopter made a steep climb and several sharp turns before descending at a rate in excess of 4,000 feet per minute. The 1988 helicopter was originally manufactured as an AS350B and had accumulated 25,216 hours since new, and total time on the rental engine was 7,400 hours. The helicopter had just been returned to service following major maintenance that included an engine change and main and tail rotor actuator replacement.

NTSB investigators evaluating the post-crash wreckage identified that the fore/aft servo input rod was not connected to the fore/aft servo and that connecting hardware was missing.