NTSB Identification: MIA85FA012.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 27488.
Accident occurred Friday, October 19, 1984 in ST.THOMAS
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D, registration: N8631F
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 ACFT WAS FLYING AT 50 FEET ABOVE THE WATER AT 15 KNOTS AIRSPEED PHOTOGRAPHING A SAIL BOAT. THE ACFT THEN CLIMBED TO 150 FEET AND DRIFTED LEFT OVER THE TOP OF THE BOAT. AT THIS POINT WITNESSES REPORTED HEARING A LOUD POP AND SEEING A PUFF OF BLACK SMOKE COME FROM THE ENGINE EXHAUST. ENGINE NOISE CEASED AND THE ACFT ROLLED APPROX 90 DEGREES ONTO ITS LEFT SIDE AND DESCENDED INTO THE WATER. POST CRASH INSPECTION OF THE ACFT REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF PRECRASH MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE STRUCTURE, ROTOR HEAD, ROTOR BLADES, OR MAIN ROTOR GEAR BOX. INSPECTION OF THE ENGINE AND ENGINE COMPONENTS REVEALED NO EVIDENCE TO INDICATE PRECRASH MECHANICAL FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION. WITNESSES REPORTED THEY SAW NO COMPONENTS FALL FROM THE AIRCRAFT PRIOR TO THE CRASH.

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

ENGINE ASSEMBLY..UNDETERMINED

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

ALTITUDE..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRSPEED..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AUTOROTATION..NOT POSSIBLE..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND

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