NTSB Identification: CHI00LA044.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 13, 1999 in SALINA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N58408
Injuries: 2 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 was performing a practice autorotation. He stated that he began the practice autorotation by '...lowering the collective all the way and reducing the throttle setting to a point where the engine RPM and rotor RPM needles split. I verified that the needles split, but something didn't feel normal.' The pilot elected to abandon the maneuver and added power to recover. The pilot stated: 'As best I can remember, the engine and rotor RPM needles had syncronized [sic] and were at approximately the right clock position on the tach face.' The pilot said that at this time he was '...becoming aware of an extremely high descent rate.' The pilot flight manual for the aircraft describes the procedure for practice autorotation as follows: 'Split the needles by lowering the collective while maintaining throttle setting. The throttle correlation will establish a high idle rpm (approximately 2000 rpm) which will aid in preventing the engine from loading up or stalling during recovery. No apparent preexisting anomalies were detected with respect to the aircraft or systems. The pilot listed no mechanical malfunction in his written report.

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

The pilot's failure to follow the published practice autorotation procedures, the improper use of throttle, and the inadequate flare.

Full narrative available

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