NTSB Identification: ATL93FA127.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 12, 1993 in TALLADEGA, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/21/1995
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N9116F
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 aircraft accident report.

THE HELICOPTER PILOT HAD ATTAINED 9 HOURS OF FLIGHT TIME IN THIS MAKE & MODEL OF AIRCRAFT. HE WAS ATTEMPTING A DOWNWIND LANDING IN A CONFINED AREA OF THE TALLADEGA SUPER SPEEDWAY, ALTHOUGH OPEN & UNCONFINED AREAS WERE LOCATED NEARBY. THE SITE WAS 168 FEET LONG & 105 FEET WIDE, AND WAS SURROUNDED ON ALL SIDES BY TALL FENCES & POWER LINES. WITNESSES STATED THAT JUST BEFORE TOUCHDOWN IN THE CONFINED AREA, THE HELICOPTER BEGAN TO OSCILLATE FROM SIDE TO SIDE. THE HELICOPTER THEN ASCENDED TO A HEIGHT OF ABOUT 25 FEET, THEN IT BEGAN TO SPIN IN A COUNTERCLOCKWISE DIRECTION. THE RIGHT FRONT SEAT PASSENGER RECALLED BRACING HIS HANDS ON THE CONSOLE & DOOR OF THE HELICOPTER DURING THE EVENT; HOWEVER, HE DID NOT RECALL THE POSITION OF HIS FEET DURING THE EVENT. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT DID NOT REVEAL ANY PREIMPACT MALFUNCTION OF THE TAIL ROTOR SYSTEM. METALLURGICAL EXAM OF FRACTURES ON THE COLLECTIVE STICK, COLLECTIVE STICK HOUSING, COLLECTIVE PUSH-PULL ROD & ROD END FROM THE ROTOR HEAD REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF PROGRESSIVE CRACKING (BEFORE IMPACT).

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

THE PILOT'S POOR IN-FLIGHT DECISION TO LAND DOWNWIND IN A CONFINED AREA THAT WAS SURROUNDED BY HIGH OBSTRUCTIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO PROPERLY COMPENSATE FOR THE TAILWIND CONDITION. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE IN THE TYPE OF AIRCRAFT.

Full narrative available

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