NTSB Identification: LAX88LA059.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38901.
Accident occurred Thursday, November 26, 1987 in LIHUE, KAUAI, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/15/1989
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N77DJ
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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 PILOT, WHO WAS ALSO A CERTIFICATED AIRFRAME & POWERPLANT MECH, RECENTLY CHANGED THE TAILBOOM ASSY. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT HE WAS CONDUCTING A MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHT. THE PILOT EXECUTED ONE AUTOROTATION WITH A POWER RECOVERY. THE PLT REENTERED THE TRAFFIC PATTERN. GND WITNESSES REPTD THAT WHEN THE HELICOPTER ENTERED THE BASE LEG THEY HEARD AN EXPLOSIVE SOUND FOLLOWED BY THE TAILBOOM ASSY SEPARATING FROM THE HELICOPTER. THE WRECKAGE EXAM DSCLSD THE MAIN ROTOR BLADE STRUCK THE TAILBOOM. THE TAIL ROTOR BLADES WENT OUT OF TRACK AND STRUCK THE VERTICAL FINS, SEPARATING THE UPPER VERTICAL FIN. NO EVIDENCE OF ANY PREEXISTING MALFUNCTIONS WAS FOUND. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES EXHIBITED LOW ROTOR RPM DAMAGE.

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

PILOT FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE MAIN ROTOR RPM.

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