NTSB Identification: FTW91FA002.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44604.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 07, 1990 in MESQUITE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/1992
Aircraft: ENSTROM F28-C, registration: N88RA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 aircraft accident report.

THE HELICOPTER HAD DEPARTED THE RANCH FOR A LOCAL AREA PLEASURE FLIGHT WHEN AT APPROXIMATELY 300 FEET AGL A LOSS OF POWER OCCURRED. IT WAS OVER A HEAVILY WOODED AREA. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO EXTEND THE GLIDE BY PULLING IN COLLECTIVE PITCH AND MAKING A RIGHT TURN (QUARTERING TAILWIND) TO THE ONLY AVAILABLE CLEAR AREA. THE MAIN ROTOR RPM CONTINUED TO DECAY AND THE HELICOPTER DESCENDED VERTICALLY OUT OF CONTROL TO IMPACT ONTO THE OPEN FIELD. THE SKIDS COLLAPSED AND THE HELICOPTER ROLLED RIGHT. POST-ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED THAT A MISALIGNED P-LEAD WIRE IN THE MAGNETO HAD CHAFED AND ARCED. ADDITIONALLY, BOTH P-LEAD CAPS WERE FOUND LOOSE. THE DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE FOR THE OPERATOR STATED THAT HE AND HIS MECHANIC DID NOT ADJUST THE MAGNETO TIMING BECAUSE IT WAS TO HARD TOO REACH ON THE HELICOPTER. THE ENGINE WAS TEST RUN WITHOUT DUPLICATION OF THE POWER LOSS.

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

INSTALLATION ERROR OF COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL. FACTORS WERE THE UNSUITABLE TERRAIN, THE TAILWIND, THE INABILITY OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN MAIN ROTOR RPM, AND THE INADEQUATE ANNUAL INSPECTION BY COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL.

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