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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45322
Last updated: 12 June 2019
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Date:04-JAN-2003
Time:15:32
Type:Silhouette image of generic H269 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Schweizer 269C (300C)
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N98TH
C/n / msn: S1760
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Collinsville, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Concord, CA (CCR)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The helicopter was in normal cruise flight when it suddenly descended steeply into a shallow tidal marsh/swamp area. Two witnesses in a boat observed the helicopter flying about 500 feet above the terrain and water. One reported seeing it in normal straight and level flight while over the water. The witness described the engine sound as "tinny." The helicopter suddenly turned toward land, the engine sound became quiet, and it descended rapidly to the ground. The other witness reported that his attention was drawn to the helicopter when he heard a "pop" followed by a grinding noise. He noticed that the rotors were slowing down as the helicopter dropped while in a left-hand turn or rotation. Examination of the rotor blades revealed evidence of low rotor energy at impact. The engine was removed from the airframe, cleaned, and then installed on an instrumented test cell where it was test run for 50 minutes at various power levels according to a factory acceptance test protocol with no abnormalities detected. Continuity was established throughout the control system, the fuel delivery system, and the drive train to the main and tail rotors. On the day of the accident, the accident pilot's partner in the helicopter discussed an erratic fuel pressure issue with an aviation maintenance technician (AMT) at the FAA Approved Repair Station where the helicopter was parked and serviced. The discrepancy was not resolved at the time the pilot departed on the accident flight. There is no verified evidence that the pilot was aware of the discrepancy.
Probable Cause: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain main rotor rpm during the subsequent autorotation. A factor in the accident was the unsuitable nature of the terrain for a forced landing.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20030116X00078&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 18:02 ASN Update Bot Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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