NTSB Identification: LAX94LA076.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 22, 1993 in WAIMEA, KAUAI, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/1994
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N115HD
Injuries: 1 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.

DURING AN EXTERNAL LOAD OPERATION, THE ENGINE STOPPED PRODUCING POWER. DURING AUTOROTATION INTO A RIVER BED AREA, THE HELICOPTER CONTACTED A BOULDER & ROLLED OVER. ENG EXAM REVEALED A COLLAPSED FUEL INLET SCREEN IN THE FUEL NOZZLE RESTRICTING FUEL FLOW. HEAVY CONTAMINATION, LATER DETERMINED TO BE A SODIUM-RICH SILICON MATERIAL, WAS NOTED ON THE SCREEN. THE HELICOPTER WAS OPERATED EXCLUSIVELY IN A MARINE ENVIRONMENT, AND THE OPERATOR PERFORMED A DAILY COMPRESSOR WASH PROCEDURE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER'S SERVICE LETTER. THE SPECIFIED PROCEDURE RESULTED IN IMMERSION OF THE FUEL NOZZLE IN SODIUM-CONTAMINATED WASH WATER, WITH SUBSEQUENT SOLUTION INFILTRATION INTO THE FUEL NOZZLE INLET SCREEN. THE SCREEN HAS A LIFE LIMIT OF 2,500 HRS AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO ANY ROUTINE INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS.

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

AN INADEQUATE ENGINE COMPRESSOR CLEANING PROCEDURE SPECIFIED IN THE MANUFACTURER'S SERVICE LETTER, WHICH RESULTED IN THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO CONTAMINATION, BLOCKAGE, AND COLLAPSE OF THE FUEL NOZZLE INLET SCREEN. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE LACK OF A SPECIFIED PERIODIC INSPECTION REQUIREMENT FOR THE NOZZLE SCREEN AND THE UNSUITABLE NATURE OF THE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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