Report: Fatal helicopter crash occurred during post-maintenance test flight

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NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah — The National Transit Safety Board has released new information regarding the helicopter crash that killed two people last week after the vehicle crashed into an empty building in North Salt Lake.

A press release from the NTSB states the two men, Bruce Orr and Claus Hauer, were flying the helicopter as a maintenance test to check the track and balance of the main rotor blades after work was done on the main rotor assembly.

Witnesses who were in the area of the accident told investigators they heard popping noises and then saw the main rotor fall from the helicopter before the aircraft impacted the building, an empty structure near 900 North and 500 west.

“I heard an explosion, looked and saw a helicopter starting to come apart, the top rotor came off, the bottom rotor came off, and it landed on the building next door,” said witness Alan Ostler last week.

Orr and Hauer suffered fatal injuries in the crash. There were not any people inside the building the helicopter crashed into.

The report stated the Robinson R44 II helicopter was registered to Native Range Capture Services, Inc. out of Elko, Nevada and was operated by Native Range Inc., out of Ventura, California.