NTSB Identification: MIA97LA168.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 17, 1997 in ORLANDO, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Bell 206L-1, registration: N30SG
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 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.

Shortly after takeoff during cruise flight at 60 knots while over trees no less than 600 feet agl, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot initiated a descent for an autorotative landing and during the descent he reportedly pulled the caution circuit breaker. One of the passengers who is a helicopter rated pilot reported that he did not observe the pilot pull the caution circuit breaker. At 50 feet, he flared but the pilot rated passenger stated that he did not feel the initial collective pull. The pilot stated that he misjudged his landing area distance and while attempting to clear trees below, he intentionally bled the main rotor rpm. The helicopter landed hard in a clearing. Post crash examination of the cockpit revealed that the caution circuit breaker was pulled. Fuel quantity was sufficient to sustain engine operation and no contaminants were found. No discrepancies were noted with the fuel control or power turbine governor. The engine was removed from the helicopter and placed in a test cell where it was operated and found to produce less than full rated power. Disassembly of the engine revealed minor discrepancies. The fuel control and the power turbine governor were bench tested which revealed no mechanical failure or malfunction. No determination could be made as to the reason for the total loss of engine power.

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

The pilot misjudging the distance of the intended touchdown point resulting in his intentional decrease in the main rotor rpm to clear obstacles below. Contributing to the accident was the total loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons.

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