NTSB Identification: FTW90GA185.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44599.
Accident occurred Friday, September 21, 1990 in NEW ORLEANS, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/1993
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N71552
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

: 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.

THE HELICOPTER WAS HOLDING TO THE SOUTHWEST OF THE AIRPORT AT APPROXIMATELY 70 KNOTS AND 300 FEET AGL AWAITING LANDING CLEARANCE WHEN THE TURBINE ENGINE FLAMED OUT. THE INSTRUCTOR TOOK OVER THE CONTROLS AND INITIATED AN AUTOROTATION TO AN OPEN ATHLETIC FIELD. HE FLARED ABRUPTLY TO AVOID A BASEBALL BACKSTOP AND LANDED HARD. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES DROOPED AND SEVERED THE TAILBOOM. POST-ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE FUEL SYSTEM REVEALED AN INCORRECTLY INSTALLED FLOAT ARM. APPROXIMATELY 250 ML OF JET FUEL WAS DRAINED FROM THE MAIN FUEL CELL. AN AUXILIARY FUEL TANK WAS FOUND FULL OF FUEL WITH THE PILOT COCKPIT CONTROL LEVER IN THE OFF POSITION.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ROTOR RPM. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE LOSE OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FUEL STARVATION.

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