NTSB Identification: MIA00TA070.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 20, 2000 in FORT MYERS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Bell UH-1H, registration: N853M
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

According to the pilot, he was about 30 minutes into the post inspection maintenance flight at about 350 to 400 feet agl, when he heard a loud 'bang' and engine rpm decayed to zero. His choice of autorotation site required use of main rotor rpm to clear trees and he landed hard and rolled over. The T-53-L-13B engine underwent factory disassembly examination, with FAA oversight. Material analysis determined that portions of the 2nd stage GP turbine disc had fractured and separated due to peak strain low cycle fatigue, resulting in structural and imbalance damage and engine failure. No material, lubrication, or fuel control defects were identified that would have contributed to the disc separation.

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

A total loss of engine power due to turbine wheel fracture resulting from fatigue for undetermined reasons that resulted in an autorotation to unsuitable terrain and hard touchdown and rollover.

Full narrative available

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