NTSB Identification: LAX94LA285.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 07, 1994 in GILBERT ISLANDS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N9242F
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 WAS ORBITING THE FISHING VESSEL WHEN HE HEARD A LOUD 'BANG.' HE SAID THE AIRCRAFT PITCHED FORWARD AND BEGAN AN UNCOMMANDED SPIN TO THE RIGHT. HE LOWERED COLLECTIVE AND INITIATED AN EMERGENCY AUTOROTATION TO THE WATER. HE HAD DIFFICULTY IN MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THE AIRCRAFT LANDED HARD. A POSTACCIDENT INSPECTION REVEALED THE ANTI-TORQUE ROTOR AND HUB WERE MISSING FROM THE AIRCRAFT. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THEY SAW THE ANTI-TORQUE BLADES AND HUB SEPARATE AS A UNIT JUST PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HIS PREVIOUS INSPECTIONS HAD NOT DETECTED ANY INDICATIONS OF A VOID ON EITHER BLADE, AND THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS IN COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES AND SERVICE INFORMATION NOTICES. A LABORATORY INSPECTION OF THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE ANTI-TORQUE SYSTEM GEARBOX FAILED TO REVEAL ANY INDICATIONS OF PREEXISTING CRACKS ON THE FRACTURE.

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

AN IN FLIGHT FAILURE AND SEPARATION OF THE TAIL ROTOR FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS.

Full narrative available

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