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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217215
Last updated: 3 December 2019
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Date:12-JAN-1997
Time:10:26
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369D
Owner/operator:Imua Air Service
Registration: N7012G
C/n / msn: 510981D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Kamuela, HI -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The helicopter was being operated in a marine environment. The pilot reported he lost engine power during the initial takeoff climb and autorotated to an open field. The helicopter landed hard and the main rotor blades severed the tailboom. Examination of the engine fuel filter, the fuel control unit (FCU) screen, and the fuel nozzle screen revealed contamination in the fuel system. The helicopter had been inspected in accordance with the manufacturer's 100/300 hour inspection about 21.2 flight hours before the accident. There were no reports of the engine fuel filter bypassing or the fuel filter caution light illuminating. The manufacturer's inspection program does not require the inspection of the fuel screens at the 100 or 300 hour intervals. The airframe manufacturer's maintenance manual does indicate that a conditional inspection be performed after the fuel filter caution light has illuminated. Review of the conditional inspection procedures revealed the FCU screen is to be removed and cleaned; however, there is no requirement for the removal and cleaning of the nozzle screen, which is downstream of the FCU screen, before the part's 2,500 hour overhaul cycle.

Probable Cause: fuel system contamination resulting in a partial loss of power, and the failure of the pilot to maintain adequate rotor rpm to cushion the autorotative landing and prevent main rotor blade contact with the tailboom. Factors were the inadequacy of manufacturer's maintenance inspection procedures for aircraft operated in a marine environment.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001208X07317&key=1

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation A-98-84 issued 8 September 1998 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-98-85 issued 8 September 1998 by NTSB to FAA
Safety recommendation A-98-86 issued 8 September 1998 by NTSB to FAA

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Nov-2018 20:56 ASN Update Bot Added

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