NTSB Identification: LAX95LA005.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 13, 1994 in SALINAS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12E, registration: N145HA
Injuries: 1 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.

ACCORDING TO THE OPERATOR, THIS WAS THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE DAY FOR THE HELICOPTER. A GROUND LOADER CREWMAN WAS WATCHING THE APPLICATION RUN AND REPORTED THAT HE SAW WHITE SPARKS AND A FIRE IN THE AREA OF THE ENGINE, THEN THE HELICOPTER BEGAN TO SPIN AND FELL TO THE GROUND. A FIRE THEN ENVELOPED THE AIRCRAFT. AN FAA INSPECTOR RESPONDED TO THE ACCIDENT SITE AND EXAMINED THE HELICOPTER. HE REPORTED THAT DRIVE SYSTEM CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE AIRCRAFT, AND THAT ALL ROTATING COMPONENTS OF THE MAIN AND TAIL ROTOR SYSTEMS WERE ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE WRECKAGE. THE ENGINE WAS EXAMINED IN DETAIL. THE ACCESSORY SECTION, ALL ACCESSORIES, THE CARBURETORS, MAGNETOS, PUMPS, AND ENGINE COMPARTMENT FUEL AND OIL LINES WERE COMPLETELY MELTED. THE NUMBER TWO CYLINDER HEAD SUSTAINED EXTREME HEAT DISTRESS WITH PARTIAL MELTING OF THE HEAD NOTED. THE VALVES, VALVE SPRINGS, ROCKER ARMS, AND VALVE SEATS FOR THE NUMBER TWO CYLINDER HEAD WERE PRESENT IN THE REMAINS OF THE HEAD. NO EVIDENCE WAS FOUND OF AN INTERNAL CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.

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

an in-flight engine compartment fire for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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