At 1630 Pacific time, the helicopter, operated as a Part 135 tourist sightseeing flight, crashed in mountainous terrain. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. Weather was reported as clear with good visibility and dusk light conditions.
About one minute prior to the accident, radar indicated the helicopter climbed to 4100 feet msl and turned about 90 degrees to the left. The left turn and climb are not part of the normal route. Radar then indicated the helicopter descended to 3300 feet msl and tracked a northeasterly course for about 20 seconds, until entering a left turn followed by a descent.