NTSB Identification: CHI94LA138.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 21, 1994 in FARGO, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/1995
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: N3623Y
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT REPORTED HE WAS DEMONSTRATING AUTOROTATIONS TO TOUCHDOWN TO AN FAA INSPECTOR AS PART OF A CHECK RIDE FOR A HELICOPTER FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATE. DURING THE TURN FROM BASE TO FINAL, THE PILOT SAID HE INADVERTENTLY RAISED THE COLLECTIVE PREMATURELY AND ALLOWED THE MAIN ROTOR SPEED TO DECAY. THE HELICOPTER SUBSEQUENTLY LANDED HARD AND RECEIVED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. THE FAA INSPECTOR ABOARD KNEW THAT THE HELICOPTER WAS GOING TO LAND SHORT OF THE INTENDED TOUCHDOWN SITE. HE SAID THAT HE NORMALLY RESTS HIS HAND ON THE COLLECTIVE DURING PRACTICE AUTOROTATIONS, BUT DID NOT DO SO IN THIS INSTANCE.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot in command's improper autorotation technique. A factor associated with the accident is the FAA Inspector's delayed remedial action.

Full narrative available

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