NTSB Identification: ATL94LA002.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 05, 1993 in LINVILLE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/1994
Aircraft: HUGHES 269B, registration: N9333F
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 HELICOPTER TOOK OFF FROM A PRIVATE GOLF COURSE IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THE ELEVATION WAS AT THE UPPER LIMIT OF THE HELICOPTER'S CAPABILITY TO HOVER IN GROUND EFFECT. AFTER DEPARTURE, A CLIMBING TURN WAS MADE TO THE NORTHEAST. ABOUT 300 FEET AT 40-45 MPH, THE TAIL PITCHED UP, ROTOR RPM DECAYED, AND THE HELICOPTER BEGAN LOSING ALTITUDE. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THE HELICOPTER ROTATED CLOCKWISE ABOUT ITS VERTICAL AXIS. THE WIND WAS FROM THE WEST ABOUT THREE TO SIX KNOTS. AN AUTOROTATION WAS INITIATED. AFTER TURNING 180 DEGREES, TO THE WEST, TREES WERE OVERFLOWN WHICH THE TAIL ROTOR CONTACTED. AFTER TURNING BACK INTO THE WIND, DIRECTIONAL CONTROL WAS REGAINED AND THE HELICOPTER TOUCHED DOWN, HARD, ON THE GOLF COURSE. MANUFACTURER'S PERSONNEL STATED THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE CONSISTENT WITH PREVIOUS ACCIDENTS THAT INVOLVED A LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS (LTE). AN OWNER'S MANUAL FOR THE ACFT WAS CONSULTED. NO INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED REGARDING THE CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO LTE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRSPEED THAT WOULD HAVE AVOIDED A LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS (LTE), AND HIS IMPROPER COMPENSATION FOR TAILWIND CONDITION. A FACTOR WAS THE LACK OF INFORMATION IN THE PILOT'S OPERATING HANDBOOK REGARDING THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH LTE MAY OCCUR.

Full narrative available

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