Accident Helicopter Continued The Left Turn, Entered A Left Climbing Spin For About Three Revolutions

Location: Boulder City, NV Accident Number: WPR23LA078
Date & Time: December 27, 2022, 16:35 Local Registration: N835GC
Aircraft: Airbus Helicopters EC 130 T2 Injuries: 6 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter – Non-scheduled – Sightseeing

On December 27, 2022, at 1635 Pacific daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters EC-130-T2, N835GC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Boulder City, Nevada. The pilot and five passengers were seriously injured, and one passenger received minor injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 commercial air tour flight.

The accident helicopter was the second of four helicopters returning from Kingman, Arizona to Boulder City Municipal Airport (BVU). According to the operator, the helicopters were not flying as a formation. Security video captured the first helicopter enter the camera’s view of the landing area from the west and enter a hover-taxi over a closed runway south of the camera’s location. The first helicopter then made a left turn over a paved taxiway and proceeded north towards the ramp area. The accident helicopter was visible in the camera’s view entering the landing area from the southeast as the first helicopter entered the hover-taxi. The accident helicopter exited the camera’s view for a short period of time before reentering from the west, flying a similar approach to hover-taxi as the first helicopter. 

The accident helicopter is visible traveling eastbound in a hover-taxi as the first helicopter enters the ramp area. The accident helicopter began a slow turn to the left as it approached the taxiway to the ramp area. The accident helicopter continued the left turn, entered a left climbing spin for about three revolutions and then descended to the ground. The helicopter skids collapsed, and the tail boom contacted the ground, resulting in substantial damage.

The helicopter was retained for examination.