NTSB Identification: LAX97FA091.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 18, 1997 in FLAGSTAFF, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD600N, registration: N9202L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
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.
During a certification test flight, the pilot was following test card procedures to establish parameters for a height-velocity diagram. He began an autorotation, using a 1-second delay (to simulate pilot reaction time) before lowering the collective. As the autorotation progressed, the helicopter developed a rate of descent that the pilot was unable to check. Subsequently, the helicopter touched down hard, the skids collapsed, and the tailboom was severed by the main rotor blades. The helicopter slid off the runway into snow and rolled onto its right side. Circumstances identified in this accident had been identified during previous investigations of flight test accidents with this helicopter, but that information had not been provided to this test pilot and flight test engineer.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the manufacturer to follow its directive to develop corrective measures in response to known accident data, and their failure to ensure that pertinent information (in engineering department) was communicated to the test pilot and flight test engineer (in flight test). Full narrative available
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