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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133763
Last updated: 16 June 2020
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Date:06-DEC-1997
Time:16:49
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Mcdonnell Douglas 369HS
Owner/operator:Macaw Aviation
Registration: N9068F
C/n / msn: 210293S
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Saipan, -   Northern Mariana Islands
Phase: Approach
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 6, 1997, at 1649 hours local island time, a McDonnell Douglas 369HS, N9068F, landed hard after a loss of engine power while approaching the Macaw Helipad at the Coral Ocean Point Hotel, Kobleville, Saipan. The helicopter, operated by Micronesian Aviation Corporation, d.b.a. Macaw Aviation, Saipan, was destroyed. The certificated commercial pilot and four passengers received minor injuries. The local sightseeing flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and originated from the hotel helipad at an unspecified time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot indicated to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that he was making a standard approach to the helicopter pad which was located on a bluff overlooking a golf course. About 100 yards from the pad and 150 feet agl, he felt a twitch in the nose of the aircraft and heard the rpm decreasing and the engine spooling down. The pilot reported that he entered an autorotation. He turned the helicopter to the right to avoid upsloping terrain and touched down on a practice putting green. He reported that the helicopter bounced once or twice. The helicopter's landing gear collapsed and the tail rotor struck the ground. The tailboom was severed by the main rotor blades and the aircraft came to rest on its right side. After coming to a stop the engine was still idling so the pilot closed the fuel shutoff valve and throttle and turned off all electrical power. He reported that the engine took about 20 to 30 seconds to spool down.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

A review of the aircraft logbooks indicated that the helicopter had been placed into operation at Macaw Helicopters on September 24, 1997. The aircraft was equipped with an Allison 250-C18B engine, serial no. CAE 801559B.

Allied Signal and Allison Engines issued service bulletins on November 18, 1993, regarding the replacement of the fuel control bellows. The Allison Commercial Engine Bulletin (CEB-A-282 for 250-C18 series engines) directed maintenance facilities to furnish a new fuel control incorporating a stainless steel welded Pc Inconel Bellows as a replacement for the beryllium copper bellows assemblies. The Allied Signal Service Bulletin (Bulletin No.: GT-242) stated that the new Pc bellows offered increased reliability, a three-piece repairable common bellows assembly for all Allison 250 series engines, and enhanced corrosion protection. These service bulletins superseded all current procedures and/or bulletins regarding the beryllium copper Pc bellows assembly used during overhaul and/or repair. The bulletin stated that compliance was required the next time the affected fuel control was at a repair/overhaul facility and the bellows area was disassembled for any reason, but in no case later than the next fuel control unit overhaul.

The aircraft maintenance records revealed that on April 22, 1997, an overhaul of the fuel control assembly was performed. On a form indicating compliance with applicable service bulletins and directives, "NA" was written by the maintenance facility in the space next to the listing for the Allison CEB-282, which stated "fuel control, new Inconel acceleration bellows, sleeve and damper rings." The records revealed that the fuel control with the beryllium copper Pc bellows was reinstalled in the helicopter on October 1, 1997, at engine time 2,247.1 hours. The engine time at the time of the accident was 2,286.6 hours.

DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT

The helicopter was examined by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspectors from the Honolulu Flight Standards District Office. According to the FAA, the operator was planning to place the helicopter on its 14 CFR Part 135 Air Taxi Certificate. They were in the process of reviewing the helicopter's maintenance records on the day of the accident.

The inspectors reported that there was a little less than 100 pounds of fuel in the aircraft and there w

Sources:

NTSB id 20001208X09331


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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