Accident Robinson R44 Raven II N168SH, Thursday 8 January 2009
ASN logo
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Thursday 8 January 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic R44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Robinson R44 Raven II
Owner/operator:Majestic Helicopters LLC
Registration: N168SH
MSN: 11658
Year of manufacture:2007
Total airframe hrs:445 hours
Engine model:Lycoming IO-540-AE1A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:West Valley City, UT -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Provo Municipal Airport, UT (PVU/KPVU)
Destination airport:Wendover Airport, UT (KENV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On January 8, 2009, approximately 2052 mountain standard time, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 II, N168SH, impacted terrain following a loss of control in cruise flight near West Valley City, Utah. The flight instructor and the commercial pilot receiving instruction were seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to Majestic Helicopters LLC, Eagle Mountain, Utah, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. A flight plan was not filed and night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the helicopter’s departure from Tooele, Utah, about 2037, with an intended destination of Bountiful, Utah. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site at the time of the accident.

Both the pilot and the instructor reported that the flight began as an instrument flight rules (IFR) cross-country training flight. They departed from Bountiful about 16:50 MST, and flew to Provo, Utah, where they stopped to refuel the helicopter. The pilot filed an IFR flight plan from Provo to Wendover, Utah. After departure from Provo, the pilot put on foggles (a view limiting device) and flew to Staco intersection, where he removed the foggles and continued towards Wendover. After encountering turbulence and head winds, they elected to terminate the IFR flight plan about 10 miles from Wendover, reverse course, and return to Bountiful under visual flight rules (VFR).

The instructor reported that on the return trip from Wendover, he was not instructing the pilot and that he was "just a passenger." They landed at Tooele, refueled the helicopter and departed VFR for Bountiful. According to the instructor, the weather conditions at Tooele were winds light and variable, visibility 4 miles, and ceiling about 2,000 feet above ground level (6,321 feet mean sea level [msl]). The planned flight path was from Tooele northeast to Garfield Stack, then south along Highway 111 to circle south around the Salt Lake City Class B airspace, then north to Bountiful. The helicopter was heading south along Highway 111 at about 6,100 feet msl when the "cloud ceiling dropped causing helicopter to enter a cloud, visual of ground was lost." The pilot "became quickly disoriented losing positive control of the aircraft." The flight instructor took the controls and attempted to regain control of the helicopter, but was unable to do so before the helicopter impacted the ground.

The pilot reported that he was flying the final leg of the flight back to Bountiful when the weather conditions began to deteriorate. The helicopter entered the clouds and "began to rotate almost immediately." He turned on the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) switch and the helicopter impacted the ground.

The helicopter came to rest on its left side oriented on a southwesterly heading near the crest of a snow covered hill just east of 6600 South Highway 111 (at approximate coordinates: 40'63.0833"N, 112'05.6667"W). Rising terrain was observed to the south and west of the accident site. A large impact crater was observed immediately in front (to the southwest) of the main wreckage. The crater measured about 15 feet in length and 6 feet in width and was 8 to 12 inches deep. Separated portions of the landing skids were located within the impact crater. No additional ground scars were located at the accident site.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadvertent VFR flight into IMC conditions, which resulted in his spatial disorientation and loss of control of the helicopter. Also causal was the flight instructor’s delay in taking remedial action.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR09FA076
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


2. FAA Registration:



Photo(c): NTSB

Revision history:

09-Jan-2009 10:28 harro Updated
17-Jul-2009 22:52 fodbuster Updated
05-Nov-2018 01:01 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, ]
16-Aug-2021 07:52 harro Updated [Date, Source, Accident report, ]
25-Feb-2022 23:45 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Photo, ]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314