NTSB Identification: FTW99TA046.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 07, 1998 in N. LITTLE ROCK, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2001
Aircraft: Bell OH-58A, registration: N900PD
Injuries: 2 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.

In dark night conditions, the pilot reported a loss of power at 1000 feet AGL while maneuvering during a routine police flight. During the ensuing emergency descent (autorotation), the pilot maneuvered around a grain elevator and power lines. Just as the pilot pulled on the collective to arrest the rate of descent, a utility pole came into sight at his 12 o'clock position. The main rotor blades struck the pole and the helicopter impacted the ground on its right side. Post-accident examination included an engine run to manufacturer's specifications with the engine in its as removed configuration on the test stand. The tachometer generators were bench tested and the airframe was examined. It was noted that the fuel pump exhibited some leakage, both during the engine test run and a subsequent bench test, however, the engine operated throughout its normal RPM range. No definitive anomalies were revealed that would have contributed to the accident.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Factors were the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing and the dark night light condition.

Full narrative available

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