February 14, 2010, Cave Creek, Ariz., Eurocopter EC135


The helicopter was destroyed following a loss of control and impact with terrain at about 1505 Mountain time. The commercial pilot and four passengers were killed. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the helicopter proceeding from north to south at about 300 feet agl. They heard one or two “popping” sounds, followed by the helicopter rotating two or three times in a clockwise, level, 360-degree circle before it nosed over and impacted terrain. One witness described the descent path as “almost vertical.” The helicopter was consumed by fire.


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