NTSB Identification: LAX95LA048.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 10, 1994 in CABAZON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1995
Aircraft: ENSTROM F28C, registration: N214MM
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 SAID THE HELICOPTER HAD JUST LEVELED OFF IN CRUISE WHEN IT MADE AN UNCOMMANDED LEFT YAW ACCOMPANIED BY AN ENGINE OVERSPEED. THE PILOT ENTERED AN AUTOROTATION, DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM AS A LOSS OF POWER THROUGH THE DRIVE TRAIN. DURING THE AUTOROTATION, HE ATTEMPTED TO 'REJOIN' THE NEEDLES, BUT WAS ONLY SUCCESSFUL IN INCREASING ENGINE RPM. AS HE APPROACHED HIS PLANNED TOUCHDOWN POINT, HE TURNED ON THE LANDING LIGHT WHICH ILLUMINATED UTILITY WIRES THAT HE HAD NOT SEEN PREVIOUSLY. HE MADE A CYCLIC CLIMB OVER THE WIRES, BUT DID NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT AIRSPEED, ALTITUDE, OR MAIN ROTOR RPM REMAINING TO CUSHION THE TOUCHDOWN. SUBSEQUENT POSTACCIDENT TEARDOWNS AND INSPECTIONS REVEALED NO MECHANICAL ABNORMALITIES.

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

AN UNKNOWN EVENT (PRESUMABLY A COMPONENT/SYSTEM FAILURE) THAT RESULTED IN LOSS OF DRIVE TRAIN POWER TO THE MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS AND THE OBSTRUCTION (TRANSMISSION LINE) IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA.

Full narrative available

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