NTSB Identification: SEA96FA130.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 19, 1996 in ELDON, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N7400F
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 aircraft accident report.

While in cruise flight over Hood Canal, the rotorcraft began shaking, and a ground witness heard a 'pop' and observed white smoke. The pilot-in-command executed an intentional ditching, but was unable to swim to shore. The passenger survived. Postcrash examination revealed that the Lycoming HIO-360-D1A engine's number two connecting rod assembly had failed when the cap end had separated. Metallurgical examination revealed that the connecting rod cap had failed from fatigue and that both connecting rod bolts had failed in overload. The fatigue was associated with fretting within the rod cap inner face between the face and the bearing surface.

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

fatigue failure of the connecting rod cap, which resulted in loss of engine power and ditching at sea.

Full narrative available

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