On Friday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on their investigation into the tragedy that took place on Jan. 26. In the 11-page report, the investigators reveal the helicopters engine was fully operational at the time of the crash, due to the fact that they "found damage consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact."
The report also states, "The instrument panel was destroyed and most instruments were displaced from their panel mounts. Flight controls were fragmented and fire damaged." This indicates there was a "post-crash fire" at the scene of the accident and the crash was not likely caused mechanical failure.
Despite the significant damage sustained on impact, the NTSB says, "The engines were recovered for detailed disassembly examination."
Included in the report is an account from a witness who was present in the area at the time of the crash. This individual told the NTSB the hillside was "surrounded by mist."