NTSB Identification: MIA95LA078.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 20, 1995 in KEY LARGO, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 500C, registration: N7172Z
Injuries: 1 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 stated he was in cruise flight at 500 feet agl when he experienced a total loss of engine power. He entered autorotation towards a highway. At 100 feet he initiated a deceleration and applied initial collective pitch at about 20 feet. Collective cushioning pitch was not applied. The helicopter collided with the ground ventral fin first, rocked forward, and slid about 150 feet. Examination of the helicopter revealed the B-nut on the after filter coupling of the fuel pressure differential switch was loose. The coupling B-nut was tightened. The engine was run in an engine test cell and developed adequate power. When the coupling B-nut was loosened the engine shut down.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of altitude and failure to apply collective cushioning pitch during an autorotation resulting in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was a total loss of engine power due to a loose coupling B-nut on the pneumatic fuel control system, and improper maintenance inspection of helicopter by unknown maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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