NTSB Identification: LAX89LA197.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41461.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, May 20, 1989 in WAIALAE FALLS, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1991
Aircraft: AEROSPATIALE AS350D, registration: N6003S
Injuries: 7 Minor.

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 ON-DEMAND AIR TAXI HELICOPTER WAS ON A LOCAL SIGHTSEEING FLT TO WAIALAE FALLS WITH SIX PAX ABOARD. ELEVATION OF THE FALLS WAS ABOUT 3000 FT. AFTER HOVERING AT LOW ALT NEAR THE FALLS, THE PLT BEGAN A PEDAL TURN & BEGAN FORWARD MOVEMENT FOR THE INITIAL CLIMB AWAY FROM THE FALLS. THE MAIN ROTOR RPM DECAYED & THE PLT TURNED BACK TOWARD THE UPPER FALLS, WHERE HE THOUGHT HE COULD LAND. HOWEVER, THE HELICOPTER SETTLED INTO A RAVINE, IMPACTED ROCKS & CAME TO REST. AN EXAM OF THE ENG FUEL CONTROL REVEALED THE MAXIMUM STOP WAS SET AT 93% VERSUS 99% AS SPECIFIED BY THE MANUFACTURER. ALSO, THE GOVERNOR BREAK WAS SET 400 RPM EARLY, THERE WAS NO SEAL ON THE METERING VALVE SLEEVE & THE SAFETY WIRE THRU THE GOVERNOR ADJUSTMENT HAD BEEN CUT & NOT REPLACED.

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

IMPROPER MAINTENANCE/ADJUSTMENT OF THE ENGINE FUEL CONTROL UNIT BY COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL, WHICH RESULTED IN A SLIGHT LOSS OF ENGINE POWER, AND FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN ROTOR RPM, WHILE TURNING AND TAKING OFF FROM A HOVER WITH A RELATIVELY HEAVY GROSS WEIGHT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AND ROUGH/UNEVEN (ROCKY) TERRAIN IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA.

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