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December 14, 2011
A tour helicopter went down just west of Lake Mead, killing five people, last Wednesday evening, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
The aircraft is operated by Sundance Helicopters. It was on a routine flight when the copter took an unplanned sharp left turn and then steeply declined into a ravine, a National Transportation Safety (NTSB) member said.
One of the victims, the 31- year-old pilot had been a pilot for seven years. He was hired by Sundance nearly three years ago and had no history of accidents or violations, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Two of the victims were from New Delhi, India, and the two other victims were a Utica, Kansas, couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
Records show the helicopter underwent a routine 100-hour flight maintenance on Tuesday, which resulted in the engine and two mechanical control devices being replaced. The aircraft then completed a maintenance flight and two tours before the crash on Wednesday.
A preliminary report is expected to be available within 10 business days, but the full report will not be released for at least nine months.
"The last minute are where things changed," the NTSB member said. "Why? That part we don't know that yet."
What could have happened in this helicopter accident?
If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.
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