NTSB Identification: MIA97TA246.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 17, 1997 in TARPON SPRINGS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Hughes 269A, registration: N6786M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The flight had departed from an island after completing a mosquito control inspection. The pilot said he was at a cruise setting of '23 inches [manifold] plus 2800 rpm' and at an altitude of 200 feet above the water, when the engine started 'missing' and 'failed to develop enough power to maintain flight.' The engine sputtered and regained full power. The pilot was setting up for an autorotation with a forward airspeed of 50 knots. The pilot further said he had 'split the needles,' and had set the engine rpm at 2,000. When he decelerated the helicopter at 50 feet above the water, the engine came back on line. The pilot then 'joined' the needles and established an attitude to continue flight when the landing skid contacted the water. A test run was performed on the engine. Due to damage to the magneto's and the ignition harness, these components had to be repaired prior to running the engine. The test run of the engine revealed no discrepancies at all power sittings.

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

the loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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