NTSB Identification: LAX96TA044.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 10, 1995 in MATHER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas 369D, registration: N33CN
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The left seat pilot was practicing night autorotations to runway 22 to maintain his currency. After the left seat pilot completed six hovering autorotations to the ground and eight autorotations to a power recovery, the right seat pilot snapped the right collective throttle to the ground idle position at 250 feet in a climb, to simulate a loss of engine power and announced 'power failure.' The left seat pilot initiated an autorotation; neither pilot was aware of an actual loss of power. When the left seat pilot applied throttle to initiate a power recovery, the engine's compressor stalled and the 'engine out' and 'auto re-ignite' lights illuminated. The left seat pilot continued with the autorotation, landed on runway 22 with the tail-first, broke the skids, and the aircraft rolled over. The investigation revealed that the right seat pilot did not perform the throttle rigging check before departing on the accident flight as recommended by the 369D pilot handbook. Several postaccident ground runs of the engine were conducted. Based upon those, it was determined that rapid roll off of the right seat throttle could retard the throttle below ground idle and flameout the engine. The throttle misrigging had not been detected by maintenance personnel.

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

Fuel starvation due to the right seat safety pilot's inadvertent engine shutdown when he closed the throttle to simulate an engine failure, and his failure to perform the throttle rigging check before takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the improper rigging of the throttle system coupled with the pilot's improper recovery from the autorotation.

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