NTSB Identification: FTW97LA094.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 29, 1997 in LAKE JACKSON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Enstrom F-28C, registration: N51774
Injuries: 2 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 flight instructor and his student were practicing takeoffs and landings and were 'on the second or third takeoff,' approximately 400 feet agl, when the helicopter 'began to lose power.' The instructor turned the helicopter back towards the airport and 'proceeded to descend while losing engine power.' Before the helicopter 'reached the ground, the engine lost all power.' After the touchdown on a taxiway, the instructor 'noticed flames from the engine compartment' and, after shutting down the engine, attempted unsuccessfully to put out the fire with a hand held fire extinguisher. The helicopter was destroyed by the fire. Examination of the engine by the operator revealed a 'hole melted out above [the] exhaust port' of the number 2 cylinder. According to the operator, the resulting exhaust gas leak 'severed the number 4 cylinder oil line and started a fire.'

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

The failure of the #2 cylinder for an undetermined reason which resulted in an exhaust leak that melted an oil line.

Full narrative available

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