NTSB Identification: FTW99TA190.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 14, 1999 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N7491F
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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.

During a night instructional flight, the helicopter landed hard during a practice autorotation following a simulated engine failure during takeoff. The operator stated that the toe of the right landing gear skid sank into the ground, and the helicopter made a 90 degree turn. The main rotor blades made contact with and severed the tailboom of the helicopter. The operator reported that the maneuver was entered below the recommended airspeed of 60 knots, and consequently a high rate of sink developed during the landing flare, which the pilot receiving instruction was unable to arrest. No mechanical malfunction or failure was reported by either the pilot or the operator.

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

The hard landing as a result of the flight instructor's failure to attain the proper airspeed before simulating an engine failure, which resulted in the development of a high sink rate. Factors were the night illumination and the soft ground.

Full narrative available

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