NTSB Identification: MIA00GA121.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 27, 2000 in DEL RIO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/17/2001
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N1110N
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

According to the ground crew, there were no witnesses to the accident. Five minutes after initial radio contact with the helicopter in preparation for a coyote eradication mission, contact was lost. The wreckage was found about 2-miles from its launch point. The wreckage revealed signs of a high rate of descent terrain collision with low or no engine and rotor speed. On-site and subsequent examination of the rotorcraft's engine, engine components, transmission, clutch, main and tail rotor drive trains, and flight controls revealed no mechanical malfunction or failure. A spent shotgun shell was found lying loose under the seat panel that possessed a crush mark that appeared to fit between two crushing surfaces, namely, the throttle bell crank and the coorelator assembly for the right seat where the right collective control column had been removed. The jam scenario was simulated numerous and separate times with an undamaged HU-269C and identical spent shotgun shells, both by the USDA accident investigator and the NTSB investigator. It was determined the jam only interfered with throttle action toward the decrease power setting and was easily overpowered by a stronger twisting action.

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

An in-flight loss of control while maneuvering for undetermined reasons resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain. A factor in the accident was the in-flight loss of engine power and rotor rpm.

Full narrative available

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