NTSB Identification: SEA90LA135.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42950.
Accident occurred Friday, July 13, 1990 in TOUTLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/16/1992
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N58239
Injuries: 2 Minor,3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE HUGHES 369D COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN AFTER MANEUVERING WITHIN THE CRATER AT MT ST HELENS. THE PILOT STATED THAT HE HAD AN INDICATION OF AN ENGINE-OUT WARNING, AND INITIATED AN AUTOROTATION. BOTH REAR SEAT PASSENGERS OBSERVED VOLCANIC ASH COMING IN THEIR WINDOWS JUST BEFORE THE CRASH. THEY AND A THIRD PASSENGER STATED THAT THE PILOT HAD BEEN PLANNING ON LANDING IN THE CRATER AS REQUESTED BY THE FOURTH PASSENGER. THE POWERPLANT HAD TO BE SHUT DOWN AFTER THE CRASH LANDING. DURING A POST-ACDNT CHECK, THE ENG OPERATED SATISFACTORILY.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY OPERATING AND MANEUVERING THE HELIOCPTER IN A REGIME WHERE HE COULD NOT MAINTAIN ROTOR RPM. THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AND ROUGH TERRAIN WERE RELATED FACTORS.

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