NTSB Identification: CHI00LA002.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 02, 1999 in INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Enstrom EN-28, registration: N602H
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot said that prior to initiating the flight he conducted a 'run-up.' He said, during the magneto check the engine ran rough and exceeded the normal magneto drop. He said he continued to run the engine at high RPM and leaned the fuel mixture for a minute. He said he then conducted another 'run-up' and the magneto drop was within specified limits.. He stated that during the initial climb the engine began to 'pop' and the rotor RPM was dropping. He said he elected to attempt a turn to the heliport; however, due to the continued loss of power he elected to conduct an autorotational landing in a gravel construction area. During the autorotational landing the helicopter landed hard and received substantial damage. Subsequent to the accident an examination of the helicopter and engine was conducted. The magneto and harness were examined and no discrepancies were found. All the spark plugs were removed and examined. The bottom spark plug from the #2 cylinder was oil fouled and did not test fire. The top spark plug from the same cylinder (#2) fired with a weak and intermittent spark. All the other spark plugs test fired. No additional anomalies were found in the helicopter or engine.

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

The pilot's attempted operation of the helicopter with known deficiencies, and his improper autorotation to landing. Factors were one fouled spark plug and another partially failed spark plug in the same cylinder, and the construction area.

Full narrative available

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