NTSB Identification: FTW96LA395.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 21, 1996 in KERRVILLE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Bell 407, registration: N1114S
Injuries: 2 Serious,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.

During the day prior to the accident, when the flight was 20 minutes from Kerrville after flying through a light rain, the RESTART FAULT light illuminated on the caution and warning light panel. The flight continued to Kerrville and landed without further incident. Maintenance was performed to correct the deficiencies. On the day of the accident, the helicopter's engine was started and ground run two times with all systems normal. A 10 minute test flight was performed and no discrepancies were noted. During the approach to Kerrville Airport, at 300 feet AGL, in a right turn, approximately 60 knots, the pilot noted the FADEC FAIL light and warning horn. During the autorotation, to avoid trees and houses, he extended the glide by increasing collective pitch. After clearing the obstacles, he leveled the helicopter and 'used all remaining collective for landing.' The helicopter 'landed hard and remained upright.' The pilot did not perform the emergency procedure for a FADEC FAIL warning light as prescribed by the Bell 407 Rotorcraft Flight Manual. An examination of the HMU harness revealed a manufacturing defect.

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

The loss of power due to the pilot's failure to comply with established procedures. Factors were a short in the FADEC wiring harness due to a manufacturing defect, and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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