NTSB Identification: FTW00TA116.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 13, 2000 in EL PASO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Hughes OH-6A, registration: N6187Y
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The helicopter's engine experienced a partial loss of engine power while maneuvering at 60 feet agl and a forward airspeed of approximately 10 knots. In response to the loss of engine power, the pilot 'increased power, pulled up on the collective, in order to increase airspeed.' The engine immediately began to 'coast down.' The pilot added that due to the relatively low altitude, slow airspeed, and insufficient rotor rpm available for the autorotation, the helicopter landed hard. Examination of the engine revealed that a power control (PC) line, which ran between the fuel control unit and governor, had separated. Metallurgical examination revealed that the PC line failed due to fatigue. A bend in the line was observed at the location corresponding to the base of the ferrule at the failed end, indicating that excessive force may have been used during installation of the line. It is likely that fatigue initiated due to the additional stresses placed on the tube by this bend.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain rotor rpm during an autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing. A factor was the partial loss of engine power resulting from the separation of the power control line due to fatigue, as a consequence of improper installation.

Full narrative available

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