NTSB Identification: SEA00LA121.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 02, 2000 in WEST LINN, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Fairchild Hiller FH-1100, registration: N2784D
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that while northbound along the Willamette River at 700 feet above ground level (AGL), the helicopter yawed left and the ENGINE OUT light came on. The pilot stated he put the helicopter into autorotation, told his passengers to brace for a hard landing, gave a Mayday call and put the helicopter in what he thought was the safest place to land. The helicopter landed hard on the river bank, seriously injuring the pilot, but the passengers were not injured. During post-accident engine examination, a red sealer, which appeared as high temperature RTV, was noted to be applied extensively and heavily on several areas of the engine. Disassembly examination of the engine revealed red sealant adhered to the engine interior surfaces, as well as at various points in the engine oil system. Subsequently, the spur adapter gearshaft (SAG, a shaft that joins the gas producer turbine to the engine compressor) was found fractured, heat-distressed, and dry of lubrication. During an oil flow test of the oil delivery tube servicing the SAG, no oil flowed from the oil jet targeted for the SAG. Closer examination of the oil delivery tube revealed that this oil jet was clogged. Since complete maintenance records were not provided to investigators, a full service history for the engine could not be established.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Improper maintenance (excessive/improper sealant application) by an unknown person, and subsequent fracture of the spur adapter gearshaft resulting in a total loss of engine power. Factors included foreign material/substance in the engine oil, a blocked oil delivery tube oil jet, and oil starvation in the area of the spur adapter gearshaft. Full narrative available
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