NTSB Identification: LAX02LA218.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2002 in Compton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Bell 47G-2, registration: N2483B
Injuries: 2 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.

The helicopter experienced a partial loss of engine power during cruise flight, and collided with power lines during a precautionary landing. The pilot felt a severe vibration and noted a drop in the helicopter's rotor rpm. As the vibrations continued, he manipulated the flight controls in an effort to maintain a controlled descent and began an autorotation. While searching for a suitable landing area, about 200 feet agl, he noticed that power lines were in the helicopter's path. He maneuvered the helicopter in a unsuccessful effort to avoid the power lines, and landed hard in a dirt field. A mechanic with inspection authorization (IA), who regularly worked on the helicopter, conducted an examination after the accident. He stated that a fan belt used in the integral system for cooling the engine had either broken or come loose. As a result, the belt wrapped around the pulley, which caused the transmission to drag. He noted that the engine ran fine after the accident, and the fuel system was free of particulates and contaminates. He said that he completed the annual inspection for the helicopter about 14 hours prior to the accident, at which time he believed that he examined the belts. He further stated the helicopter was stored outside, in a corrosive environment.

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

the failure and separation of a fan belt for the engine cooling system. A factor in the accident was the inadequate annual inspection 14 hours prior to the accident.

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