NTSB Identification: LAX88FA140.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39081.
Accident occurred Sunday, March 27, 1988 in FREMONT, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: ENSTROM 280C, registration: N5692P
Injuries: 2 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 aircraft accident report.

WHILE WORKING IN THE TRAFFIC PATTERN ON A LOCAL INSTRUCTIONAL FLIGHT, THE CFI NOTICED THE MAIN ROTOR RPM WAS BELOW THE GREEN ARC. HE ENTERED AN AUTOROTATION AND TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO GET THE ROTOR RPM BACK INTO THE GREEN ARC. THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND DURING THE ATTEMPTED AUTOROTATION WITH A LOW MAIN ROTOR SPEED. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE ENGINE DRIVE PULLEY WAS WORN BEYOND THE FACTORY ESTABLISHED LIMIT, WHICH ALLOWED THE DRIVE BELT TO SLIP. THE MINIMUM SERVICEABLE WEAR LIMIT FOR THE DRIVE PULLEY WAS NOT PUBLISHED IN THE FACTORY MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES.

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

FAILURE OF THE ENGINE TO MAIN ROTOR DRIVE SYSTEM DUE TO A DRIVE BELT SLIPPAGE CAUSED BY A DRIVE PULLEY WORN BEYOND ITS SERVICE LIMIT. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE INADEQUATE FACTORY MAINTENANCE MANUALS WHICH DID NOT PROVIDE THE SERVICEABLE LIMITS FOR THE DRIVE BELT PULLEYS.

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