NTSB Identification: LAX90FA060.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42178.
Accident occurred Friday, December 29, 1989 in SANTA ROSA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/1994
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas 369E, registration: N1604L
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,3 Minor.

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 PILOT EXECUTED AN IMMEDIATE LEFT DOWNWIND CLIMBING TURN WHEN HE DEPARTED THE HELIPAD AND EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS. BEFORE DEPARTING, THE PILOT FAILED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE DOWNWIND TURN AND THE HELICOPTER'S EXCEEDING THE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT. THE POST ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THE LATERAL TRIM MOTOR EXCEEDED ITS PHYSICAL EXTENSION LIMITS WHICH INDICATES THAT THE TRIM MOTOR WAS OPERATING DURING THE IMPACT SEQUENCE WHEN ITS AIRFRAME ATTACHMENT POINT WAS BROKEN.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PREFLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION WHICH RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR EFFECTIVENESS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT ALLOWING THE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT TO BE EXCEEDED, AND THE TAILWIND.

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