NTSB Identification: IAD01LA095.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 07, 2001 in Lewiston, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Hughes 269C, registration: N3626B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The purpose of the helicopter flight was to give the private pilot a practical flight evaluation for a commercial pilot certificate. While in cruise flight, the FAA designated pilot examiner (DPE) initiated a simulated engine failure to the pilot. Neither pilot monitored the engine RPM, and neither noticed that the engine stopped producing power after the DPE reduced the throttle. As a result, the rotor RPM decayed during the attempted powered recovery, the glide distance was reduced, and adequate rotor RPM for cushion at touchdown was not available. The pilot was asked if there were any specific checks or callouts he was to perform in the event of a simulated engine failure. He said that he did not have any required callouts, did not verbalize his intended point of touchdown, or crosscheck the engine RPM until he attempted a powered recovery from the autorotation. The examiner was asked if the applicant was required to check any parameters or make any callouts during his response to the simulated emergency. Specifically, he was asked if the applicant had to confirm the engine idle rpm, and he said no. After the accident, the engine started and ran continuously without interruption.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain rotor rpm during the simulated forced landing. Also causal in the accident was the failure of both pilots to recognize the total loss of engine power and the CFI's inadequate remedial actions. A factor in the accident was the loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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