NTSB Identification: CHI01LA119.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 18, 2001 in DU QUOIN, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Hughes 369D, registration: N713HT
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot said that he was using an aerial saw to side trim trees along a powerline right-of-way. The pilot said, "At the end of the tree line at approximately 150' (feet) agl (above ground level) I applied power to climb, immediately the low rotor rpm horn sounded. I tried to increase N2/Nr (engine and rotor rpm) with the governor 'beep switch' and checked N2/Nr. There was no response from trying to increase N2/Nr and N2/Nr was in the low 90's. I lowered the collective, released the saw and radioed my ground crew that the engine had stopped. At this point I had low airspeed, low N2/Nr and approximately 100' agl. I aimed the aircraft at an open field and tried to gain airspeed to attempt a running landing." The pilot said the helicopter "impacted the field in a near horizontal attitude." An examination of the helicopter at the accident site showed the helicopter resting on its left side in a corn stubble field approximately 300 feet south of east-west running power lines, and approximately 730 feet from a clearway of trees where the helicopter was cutting prior to the accident. An examination of the helicopter revealed no anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, the pilot operating the helicopter outside of the height-velocity curve, and the pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during the emergency landing. Factors relating to the accident were the pilot's attempted run-on landing and his improper in-flight decision to not land immediately after experiencing the engine problem.
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