Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 16, 2014
NTSB: Helicopter crash caused by broken rotor

A helicopter crash that killed a Stansbury Park man on Dec. 2 was caused by the aircraft’s rotor coming off in mid-flight.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Robinson R44 II helicopter maneuvering near Skypark Airport in Bountiful crashed into a two-story building. Both occupants of the helicopter were killed.

One of the men, 63-year-old Bruce Orr, was a resident of Stansbury Park. Orr was an experienced private pilot.

According to the report, witnesses reported hearing popping sounds and saw the main rotor and empennage separate from the helicopter as the helicopter flew by.

Some witnesses reported seeing the helicopter “tumble in flight” before hitting the building near 501 W. 900 North, North Salt Lake.

The report states that the aircraft recently had maintenance work on its main rotor assembly, and that the purpose of the flight was to check the “trick and balance” of the rotor blades.

The wreckage was gathered by NTSB investigators for closer examination to determine what malfunction occurred during the flight. 

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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