NTSB Identification: FTW01LA205.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 08, 2001 in Lubbock, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Hughes 269-C, registration: N7472F
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Several witnesses near the accident site observed smoke and fire trailing from the helicopter while on an aerial application flight. The pilot also felt heat and saw smoke in the cockpit, which was followed by a loss of engine power. A witness, who was driving in a truck next to the cotton field, reported that he observed the helicopter flying about 20-25 feet in the air when it "suddenly fell at a slight angle, fell from the sky, and hit the ground, sending white smoke and dust." After the accident, the pilot stated that he thought that the spray system had malfunctioned which resulted in chemicals being pumped into the engine. A detailed examination of the helicopter and the engine did not reveal a reason for the loss of engine power. There was no evidence found on the airframe of an in-flight fire, however, there was some thermal damage found on the spray system. The reason for the loss of engine power was not determined.

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

The loss of engine power while maneuvering for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was a malfunction of the spray system.

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