May 12, Pan Tak, Ariz. / Hughes OH 6A


At about 1206 mountain time, a Hughes OH 6A collided with terrain near Pan Tak after becoming uncontrollable in flight. The pilot suffered minor injuries and a second crew member was seriously injured. The U.S. Border Patrol helicopter was flying at about 300 feet agl when the pilot heard a bang and the aircraft became uncontrollable. Inspection of the wreckage found the tail rotor gearbox and tail rotor blade assembly were missing from the tail boom. During the search for the components, a U.S. Border Patrol flight jacket was found about 0.7 miles from the accident site. It was shredded and had paint transfers that matched the tail rotor blades.


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