NTSB Identification: MIA95LA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 19, 1995 in TAMPA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1995
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS-350B, registration: N35AH
Injuries: 1 Serious,5 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 FELT A FEEDBACK IN THE CYCLIC CONTROL AND THE CONTROLS LOCKED AS HE MADE A SHALLOW LEFT TURN AT ABOUT 800 FEET. THE HELICOPTER ENTERED A DESCENDING LEFT TURN TOWARD AN ISLAND AND THE PILOT RECEIVED INTERMITTENT HYDRAULIC SYSTEM FAILURE INDICATIONS BUT DID NOT FOLLOW MANUFACTURER'S PROCEDURES FOR HYDRAULIC SYSTEM FAILURE WHICH CALL FOR REDUCTION OF AIRSPEED TO BETWEEN 40 AND 60 KNOTS AND TURNING OFF OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM. HE WAS UNABLE TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER PRIOR TO TOUCHING DOWN HARD, TAIL FIRST ON THE ISLAND. THE HELICOPTER THEN SKIDDED INTO THE WATER AND CAME TO REST. POST CRASH EXAMINATION SHOWED THE HYDRAULIC MANIFOLD AND FILTER WERE CLOGGED WITH DEBRIS FROM THE CORROSION OF THE MANIFOLD AND FILTER CAP. MANUFACTURER'S PROCEDURES REQUIRE THE FILTER AND MANIFOLD TO BE EXAMINED AT EACH 500 HOUR INSPECTION. THE HELICOPTER HAD RECEIVED A 500 HOUR INSPECTION ABOUT 6 WEEKS AND 50 FLIGHT HOURS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS PROCEDURES AFTER FAILURE OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM RESULTING IN LOSS OF CONTROL OF THE HELICOPTER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE FAILURE OF MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL TO FOLLOW MANUFACTURERS PROCEDURES FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM.

Full narrative available

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