NTSB Identification: MIA92FA142.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47374.
Accident occurred Friday, June 26, 1992 in LABELLE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N9089F
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 PRIVATE PILOT DEPARTED ON A VFR FLIGHT IN VFR CONDITIONS. A WITNESS OBSERVED THE HELICOPTER AT ABOUT 600 FEET AGL DESCENDING IN AN AUTOROTATION WITH A HIGH RATE OF DESCENT, FORWARD AIRSPEED, WITH THE NOSE PITCHED UP ABOUT 45 DEGREES BEFORE THE HELICOPTER DISAPPEARED BELOW THE TREE LINE. EXAMINATION OF THE CRASH SITE REVEALED THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH TREES IN A DESCENDING LEFT TURN PRIOR TO IMPACTING THE GROUND IN ABOUT A 45-DEGREE NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE, NOSED OVER AND CAME TO REST ON ITS RIGHT SIDE. THE PILOT WAS FATALLY INJURED. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FUEL CONTAMINATION. THE DECEASED PILOT'S SON STATED THE FATHER WOULD ALLOW THE HELICOPTER TO SIT AT THE HOUSE WITHOUT A FULL TANK OF FUEL, AND THAT HIS FATHER WOULD NOT DRAIN THE FUEL SUMP AS A PART OF HIS PREFLIGHT INSPECTION.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S IMPROPER APPLICATION OF COLLECTIVE PITCH DURING AN AUTOROTATIVE LANDING RESULTING IN INSUFFICIENT ROTOR RPM AND IN-FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TREES AND THE TERRAIN. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FUEL CONTAMINATION AND INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION.

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