No Injuries, But Unlicensed Pilot Fled The Scene
This is one of those stories that is just a little bizarre, and
which could have had much, much more serious consequences. A
mechanic who had been issued a student pilot certificate in 1988
was flying a Bell 407 with passengers on board, and (big surprise)
went down during the so-called joyride. It was apparently not the
first time he'd flown the helo with passengers on board.
Fortunately, no one on the helicopter was seriously injured. The
(non) pilot took off without reporting the accident, and was later
apprehended in another state.
NTSB Identification: WPR12LA065
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 13, 2011 in Rock Springs,
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N8067Z
Injuries: 5 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On December 13, 2011, about 1620 mountain standard time, a Bell
407, N8067Z, was maneuvering at a low altitude and airspeed near
the residence of some of the passengers when it descended into an
open field about 12 miles west-northwest of the Rock
Springs-Sweetwater County Airport, Rock Springs, Wyoming. The
helicopter impacted the ground hard and was substantially damaged.
The helicopter’s landing gear skids and lower cabin structure
were deformed, and the tail boom was severed. Guardian Flight,
South Jordan, Utah, owned and operated the helicopter. The pilot
and four passengers sustained minor injuries. The flight was
performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations
Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight
plan was filed. The flight began from Rock Springs about 1600.
The passengers reported that the pilot, who was an employee of
Guardian Flight, immediately departed the scene. The pilot has not
reported the accident to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Guardian Flight management personnel reported that the pilot was
not authorized to fly the helicopter, and he was employed as their
Rock Springs helicopter mechanic. Law enforcement authorities
reported they apprehended the pilot in another state. Federal
Aviation Administration personnel reported that the pilot was
issued a student pilot certificate in 1988, and they have no record
of him holding any additional pilot certificate. He does hold a
mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings and
An acquaintance of the accident pilot reported that he observed
the pilot flying N8067Z on several previous occasions for personal
reasons. Passengers were carried during these “joy