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NTSB Preliminary Report: Alpine, UT



Alpine, UT

Accident Number:


Date & Time:

05/17/20191034 MDT




Robinson R44


2 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On May 17, 2019, about 1034 mountain daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 II helicopter, N744TW, impacted mountainous terrain about 4 miles north of Alpine, Utah. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to Tumbleweed Leasing CO INC. and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross-country flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site about the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the pilot's residence near Myton, Utah about 0924 and was destined for South Valley Regional Airport (U42), Salt Lake City, Utah.

A family member of the pilot reported that at 1027 she received a video from one of the helicopter occupants. A review of the 19 second video revealed that the helicopter was at 13,600 ft mean sea level (msl), just above a cloud layer. The time and place stamp on the video indicated that the video was taken at 1026 in the vicinity of accident site.

Preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed the first radar target about 0956 about 52 miles east of the accident location. Further review revealed that the helicopter began a climb from 10,400 ft msl, 37 kts groundspeed, in a west-northwest direction. At 1009, the data showed the helicopter leveled off at 13,300 ft msl and varied in altitude between 12,700 ft and 13,300 ft msl for about 30 miles. At 1029, the helicopter began a descent from 12,700 ft to 11,000 ft. Two minutes later, the helicopter began a right descending turn from an altitude of about 11,500 ft. The data further depicted the helicopter completed two 360° right turns, before radar contact was lost. The last radar target was at 9,200 ft, on a heading of 166°, and a groundspeed of 99 kts, or about 1,160 ft east of the accident site.

The wreckage was located in mountainous terrain, about 7,656 ft msl, about 4 miles northeast of Alpine, Utah. The wreckage debris path orientated on a magnetic heading of 127°. A postimpact fire near the engine was noted. All major structural components of the helicopter were located throughout the debris path. The wreckage was transported to a secure facility for further investigation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:





R44 II

Aircraft Category:


Amateur Built:





On file

Operating Certificate(s) Held:



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Instrument Conditions

Condition of Light:


Observation Facility, Elevation:

KPVU, 4497 ft msl

Observation Time:

1614 UTC

Distance from Accident Site:

17 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

8°C / 3°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:


Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

7 knots / 170°

Lowest Ceiling:

Broken / 3100 ft agl


10 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

29.83 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:


Departure Point:

Mayton, UT


Salt Lake City, UT (U42)


Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:


Passenger Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Fire:


Ground Injuries:


Aircraft Explosion:


Total Injuries:

2 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

40.502500, -111.743889 (est)


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Jackie L Vanover

Additional Participating Persons:

Ken Joyce; FAA; Salt Lake City, UT

Thom Webster; Robinson Helicopter Company; Torrance, CA

Mark W Platt; Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, PA


The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.

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Created 76 days ago
by jhadmin

Tags Alpine NTSB Report UT
Categories Press Releases

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