NTSB Identification: FTW95GA090.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 12, 1995 in DUMONT, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/06/1997
Aircraft: HUGHES 269C, registration: N796
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

: 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 public aircraft accident report.

DURING WILD LIFE CONTROL ACTIVITIES THE HELICOPTER EXPERIENCED A CATASTROPHIC ENGINE FAILURE AT 40 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO REGAIN POWER BY 'MILKING THE COLLECTIVE.' THE HELICOPTER IMPACTED THE GROUND IN A LEVEL ATTITUDE WITHOUT FLARING. FOLLOWING THE INITIAL IMPACT THE HELICOPTER BOUNCED 13 FEET FORWARD AND ROLLED RIGHT. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED THAT THE #3 CYLINDER CONNECTING ROD CAP BOLTS HAD FRACTURED RESULTING IN A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OF THE BEARING CAP AND PISTON. THE SAFETY BOARD'S METALLURGICAL EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT THE FRACTURE FEATURES AT THE CENTER OF EACH BOLT WERE THE RESULT OF OVERSTRESS SEPARATIONS. HOWEVER, THE FRACTURE FEATURES ADJACENT TO THE OUTSIDE DIAMETER OF EACH BOLT CONTAINED MECHANICAL DAMAGE THAT OBLITERATED THE ORIGINAL FRACTURE FEATURES.

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

THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO OVERSTRESS FRACTURES OF THE #3 CYLINDER CONNECTING ROD CAP BOLTS. THE ORIGIN OF THE FRACTURES COULD NOT BE DETERMINED.

Full narrative available

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