NTSB Identification: IAD99GA013.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 1998 in BALTIMORE, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2000
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N2100B
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

: 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 public aircraft accident report.

The police helicopter was performing a police mission less than 500 above ground level when the engine lost power. The pilot was unable to reach a suitable landing area and maintain rotor rpm. The helicopter struck trees and a light pole, landed hard on a road, and slid into a fence. Examination revealed the #2 connecting rod had separated from the crankshaft. A torque check on the remaining connecting rod bolts found all below the minimum specified. A work action (strike) had been in effect at the engine manufacturer at the time of engine assembly, and production continued with management and replacement workers. During assembly the crankshaft had been replaced for an unknown reason. After the crankshaft was replaced, new connecting rods were attached, but not properly tightened. Replacement workers manned the two assembly stations identified as most probable for replacement of the crankshaft and failure to tighten the connecting rod bolts. Although long time employees knew the correct procedures for documentation of a replaced crankshaft, no specific written instructions were available for the replacement employees. The engine failed at 45.7 hours total time.

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

inadequate assembly instructions from the engine manufacturer which resulted in improper engine assembly, and subsequent power loss over unsuitable terrain, with insufficient altitude for a successful autorotation.

Full narrative available

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