NTSB Identification: LAX94FA372.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 22, 1994 in GENOA, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N58352
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE FAA OPERATIONS INSPECTOR WAS OBTAINING FLIGHT TIME FOR RECURRENCY WHILE ADMINISTERING A PROFICIENCY CHECK TO THE PILOT/OPERATOR (PLT). BEFORE FLIGHT, THE INSPECTOR GAVE AN ORAL EXAM TO THE PLT. WHILE PREPARING FOR FLIGHT, THE PLT TOLD THE INSPECTOR THAT THE THROTTLE ON THE RIGHT COLLECTIVE WAS INOPERATIVE (DISCONNECTED), BUT THE INSPECTOR DID NOT ASSIMILATE THIS INFORMATION. ALSO, DURING THE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, THE INSPECTOR (IN THE LEFT SEAT) DID NOT CHECK THROTTLE CONTINUITY TO THE RIGHT COLLECTIVE CONTROL. DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE FLIGHT, THE INSPECTOR FLEW THE HELICOPTER MOST OF THE TIME. HE THEN PROCEEDED TO HAVE THE PLT PERFORM SPECIFIC MANEUVERS TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF A PROFICIENCY CHECK. WHILE RETURNING TO THE AIRPORT, THE INSPECTOR REDUCED HIS THROTTLE TO FLIGHT IDLE TO SIMULATE AN ENGINE FAILURE; HE THEN TRANSFERRED THE CONTROLS TO THE PLT & TOLD HIM TO PERFORM AN AUTOROTATION. THE PLT DID NOT REALIZE THAT THE INSPECTOR HAD REDUCED POWER TO FLIGHT IDLE WITH THE OPERABLE (LEFT) THROTTLE UNTIL HE RAISED THE RIGHT COLLECTIVE IN AN ATTEMPT TO FLY OUT OF THE AUTOROTATION NEAR THE GROUND. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE HELICOPTER SUSTAINED A HARD LANDING. AN INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THAT THE PILOT/OPERATOR HAD THE RIGHT COLLECTIVE THROTTLE LINKAGE DISCONNECTED ABOUT 2 YEARS BEFORE THE FLIGHT.

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

THE PILOT/OPERATOR'S OPERATION OF THE HELICOPTER WITH A DISCONNECTED THROTTLE ON THE RIGHT COLLECTIVE; THE FAA INSPECTOR'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT/PRETAKEOFF CHECKS OF THE FLIGHT CONTROL/THROTTLE SYSTEMS; AND THE PILOT/OPERATOR'S FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY INFORM THE INSPECTOR OF THE DISCONNECTED RIGHT THROTTLE, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INADEQUATE POWER RECOVERY FROM AN INSPECTOR INITIATED AUTOROTATION.

Full narrative available

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