NTSB Identification: LAX94LA387.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 23, 1994 in PACIFIC OCEAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N58400
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 CONDUCTING A FISH SPOTTING FLIGHT OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN ABOUT 480 FEET ABOVE THE OCEAN. THE CYCLIC CONTROL BEGAN TO SHAKE VIOLENTLY IN PILOT'S HAND. THE PILOT REGAINED CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER AND EXECUTED AN AUTOROTATION. DURING THE AUTOROTATION, THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES TRACK WAS NOTICED TO BE ABOVE ITS NORMAL TIP PATH PLANE. THE HELICOPTER LANDED ON ITS FLOATS AND BEFORE IT SANK, THE PILOT SAW THE YELLOW CODED PITCH CHANGE LINK (CONTROL ROD) HANGING FROM THE SWASH PLATE. THE HELICOPTER SANK INTO THE OCEAN AND WAS NOT RECOVERED.

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

failure of the helicopter's main rotor pitch change link (control rod). The helicopter was not recovered and the Safety Board was unable to determine the pitch change link's failure mode.

Full narrative available

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