At about 1145 Pacific time, the helicopter impacted trees and mountainous terrain. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the two Private pilots aboard, a married couple, were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed at the departure airport for the cross-country flight. Witnesses observed the helicopters takeoff, during which it wobbled from side to side and then settled to the ground with one of its landing skids making ground contact. The helicopter spun around 180 degrees and lifted back up into the air, its main main rotor blades narrowly missing the ground. It then settled back to the surface, the tail rotor narrowly missing the ground. After idling on the ground for a while, it lifted off again and departed toward the southwest. Witnesses believed the helicopter was not climbing well. Later, a fuel cap from one of the helicopters fuel tanks was found on the ramp from which it had departed. After the helicopter failed to arrive at its destination, the Civil Air Patrol and local law enforcement conducted a search. The wreckage was located in mountainous terrain at 8781 feet msl. The calculated density altitude at the accident site, around the time of the accident, was approximately 10,200 feet.