NTSB Identification: DEN01LA002.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 10, 2000 in BAGGS, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2001
Aircraft: Hughes 369FF, registration: N82638
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The helicopter was engaged in seismographic/external load operations. According to the pilot, the helicopter was in a stabilized out-of-ground-effect hover at approximately 130 feet above the ground when he heard a loud "pop" or "bang" and the engine lost power. The pilot said the helicopter descended rapidly and impacted the ground at a higher than normal rate of descent. Examination of the engine revealed that the turbine-to-compressor coupling exhibited fatigue failure at the turbine end, having approximately 60 percent of the splines broken away.

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

impact with terrain following a total loss of engine power due to fatigue failure of the turbine-to-compressor coupling. A contributing factor was the unsuitable terrain for a forced landing.

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