NTSB Identification: NYC98LA049.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 19, 1997 in GETTYSBURG, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1999
Aircraft: Bihn MINI 500, registration: N727EB
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 homebuilt Mini 500 helicopter was in level flight about 900 to 1200 feet, when the engine sounds stopped. The helicopter's nose dropped, and one main rotor blade struck the tailboom and separated from the rotor head. The helicopter descended and struck the ground 90 degrees nose down. Examination of the non-certificated 2 cycle Rotax engine did not reveal a reason for the power loss. The engine manufacturer published the maximum continuous RPM as 6,500. Other builders reported that when the helicopter's rotor RPM was operated at the top of the green arc, the engine operated about 6,700 RPM. The NTSB database revealed 23 Mini-500 accidents in 1997 and 1998. Twelve of those involved a loss of engine power. The Rotax operator's manual stated, '...This engine by design is subject to sudden stoppage...Never fly the aircraft equipped with this engine at locations, airspeeds, altitudes...from which a successful no-power landing cannot be made...'

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, followed by the main rotor striking the tailboom, which resulted in the separation of a main rotor blade.

Full narrative available

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