NTSB Identification: IAD96LA088.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 01, 1996 in OAKWOOD, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/22/1996
Aircraft: Brantly Helicopter B2B, registration: N2261U
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 reported that while he maneuvered during the approach to land, the helicopter experienced a total loss of engine power. When the power loss occurred, he '...nosed down and put the collective down...' to enter autorotation. He '...picked a spot [for landing] ... looked at the rotor RPM (RRPM), it was 320... [and] at 60 to 80 feet I pulled collective...' to begin deceleration. The helicopter struck the ground with a forward speed of 30 MPH with the tail skid striking the ground prior to the main gear. According to the pilot, the normal operating range for RRPM is 400-472 and that 400 RRPM was minimum for autorotation. The pilot did not possess a helicopter rating, but had received 5 to 6 hours of instruction in helicopters. He reported that he had flown 28 hours within the preceding six months, including 3 hours in the accident aircraft. Postaccident examination revealed that the fuel tank vent tube assembly was clogged with '...insect and nest remains... .' The most recent documented 100-hour maintenance inspection of the helicopter occurred on 5/18/70.

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

a loss of engine power due to inadequate maintenance and inspection by the owner/operator which failed to detect the clogged fuel vent line, and the pilot's improper autorotation. A related factor was the pilot's inadequate training/familiarization with helicopter emergency procedures.

Full narrative available

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