NTSB Identification: FTW94MA236.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 1994 in KALAUPAPA, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1995
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350B, registration: N350MH
Injuries: 1 Serious,6 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 FLIGHT, WHICH WAS SCHEDULED TO TOUR AROUND THE ISLAND OF MAUI. THE PILOT MADE THE DECISION TO TOUR THE ISLAND OF MOLOKAI WHEN WEATHER ALONG HIS SCHEDULED ROUTE DETERIORATED. HE DID NOT INFORM THE COMPANY OF THE ROUTING CHANGE. WHILE IN A HOVER APPROXIMATELY 150 FEET FROM A SHORE LINE, ROTOR RPM DETERIORATED AND THE INFLATABLE FLOAT-EQUIPPED HELICOPTER MADE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN THE WATER. THE FLOATS WERE DEPLOYED AS THE HELICOPTER ENTERED THE WATER; HOWEVER, THE LANDING WAS HARD AND THE HELICOPTER SUSTAINED SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE. (TO DEPLOY THE FLOATS, THE PILOT WAS REQUIRED TO REMOVE HIS HAND FROM THE COLLECTIVE CONTROL.) THE PILOT AND FIVE OF THE PASSENGERS WERE NOT INJURED. THE REMAINING PASSENGER RECEIVED SERIOUS INJURIES. AFTER LANDING, THE SEVEN OCCUPANTS DONNED LIFE VESTS AND SWAM TO THE SHORE WHERE THEY SPENT THE NIGHT BEFORE BEING LOCATED BY AIRBORNE SEARCH PERSONNEL. THE HELICOPTER DRIFTED ASHORE AND WAS EXAMINED. NO EVIDENCE OF A PREIMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PROPERLY MONITOR POWER REQUIRED VERSUS POWER AVAILABLE TO MAINTAIN ROTOR REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE (RPM), RESULTING IN ROTOR RPM DECAY AND A FORCED LANDING. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S CHANGE OF THE TOUR ROUTE WITHOUT NOTIFYING THE COMPANY, WHICH DELAYED RESCUE, AND THE LOCATION OF THE ARM AND FIRE SWITCHES FOR THE FLOTATION EQUIPMENT, WHICH REQUIRED THE PILOT TO REMOVE HIS HAND FROM THE COLLECTIVE CONTROL TO ACTIVATE THAT EQUIPMENT.

Full narrative available

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