NTSB Identification: FTW94MA235.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 1994 in HANALEI, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1995
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350D, registration: N151BH
Injuries: 3 Fatal,4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE HELICOPTER WAS ON A 14 CFR PART 135 AIR TOUR OPERATION WITH A PILOT & 6 PASSENGERS ABOARD. IT WAS FLYING PARALLEL TO THE SHORELINE WHEN A COMPLETE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER OCCURRED. THE PILOT PERFORMED AN AUTOROTATION TO THE WATER ABOUT 150' FROM A CLIFF SHORELINE. THE HELICOPTER WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH FLOATS. ALL OCCUPANTS EXITED THE HELICOPTER UNINJURED AS IT WAS SINKING. LIFE VESTS WERE ABOARD THE HELICOPTER, BUT WERE NOT WORN BY THE OCCUPANTS. THREE OF THE PASSENGERS MANAGED TO CLIMB ONTO ROCKS & WERE EVENTUALLY RESCUED BY HELICOPTER. THEY INDICATED THAT THEY HAD NOT BEEN BRIEFED THAT LIFE PRESERVERS WERE ABOARD THE HELICOPTER. THE OTHER FOUR OCCUPANTS WERE UNABLE TO CLIMB ONTO ROCKS ALONG THE SHORE. ONE OF THESE (A PASSENGER) WAS RESCUED BY PERSONNEL OF A BOAT. THE PILOT & THE OTHER TWO PASSENGERS DROWNED. THE HELICOPTER WAS RECOVERED FROM THE OCEAN. AN EXAM & TESTS OF COMPONENTS REVEALED THE INTERNAL DRIVE SPLINES OF THE ENGINE-DRIVEN FUEL PUMP (MFP-261) HAD WORN TO THE POINT OF SLIPPAGE. THIS FAILURE WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN A TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER.

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

FAILURE OF THE ENGINE-DRIVEN FUEL PUMP, WHICH RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF POWER, AND THE LACK OF AIRCRAFT FLOTATION EQUIPMENT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FLIGHT OVER WATER ADJACENT TO TERRAIN THAT AFFORDED NO SUITABLE FORCED LANDING SITE, AND THE LACK OF A PASSENGER BRIEFING BY THE OPERATOR ON THE LOCATION AND OPERATION OF LIFE PRESERVERS.

Full narrative available

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