NTSB Identification: DEN00LA001.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 01, 1999 in GALLUP, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: GRAY ROTORWAY EXEC, registration: N716JB
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 remained in the traffic pattern to practice touch and go landings. At approximately the point where the helicopter would turn onto the base leg, rotor rpm began to decay (95%). The pilot turned towards the runway and began autorotation. During the descent, the pilot managed to avoid houses and powerlines. The helicopter struck the ground tail first, then rolled over on its left side. The engine was later functionally tested and, despite impact damage to the crankshaft, operated normally.

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

The pilot inadvertently allowing main rotor rpm to decay while avoiding obstacles during an emergency autorotation following a loss of power for reasons undetermined. Factors were houses and powerlines.

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