NTSB Identification: ATL02LA044.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 11, 2002 in Miami, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Hiller UH12E, registration: N103HA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

A Hiller UH-12E collided with the ground during a forced landing. According to the pilot, while executing aerial applications at 15 to 20 feet AGL, he heard a bang and the helicopter began shaking and yawing. The pilot realized he was losing altitude and attempted to slow the descent by using the collective. The helicopter impacted the ground, and caught fire. The pilot exited the helicopter through a hole in the bubble. Examination of the main rotor hub pieces revealed that the fracture at the hub had progressed through the inboard pin hole for the torsion/tension plate set. Six fracture faces were noted in the examination corresponding with the pin hole. Two fracture faces showed discoloration with a distinctive banding pattern and smoothly curved crack arrest marks consistent with fatigue propagation. Examination of the remaining two fractures revealed no evidence of fatigue cracking, but did show some corrosion on the exposed portion of the pin.

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

Fatigue cracking in the main rotor hub that resulted in the separation of the main rotor system. A factor was corrosive deposits on the exposed portion of the plate set pin.

Full narrative available

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