NTSB Identification: DEN02LA098.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 20, 2002 in Broomfield, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/2003
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N7508L
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 student was practicing autorotations in preparation for taking his rotorcraft-helicopter practical flight test the following day. With his instructor on board, the student had successfully performed two "full down" autorotations. As he completed the third autorotation, they heard a loud noise and the helicopter settled toward the left rear, enough that the tail rotor struck the asphalt taxiway. Postaccident inspection disclosed that the bolt that attaches the left rear oleo strut to the crossbeam was missing. The tail rotor blades were damaged, the tail rotor driveshaft was twisted, and the splined end was separated from the main transmission. Maintenance records indicated the helicopter had accrued 5.1 hours since the last 50-hour inspection, at which time the landing gear struts had been overhauled and the skid shoes replaced.

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

maintenance personnel's failure to secure the landing skid oleo strut bolt during the last 50-hour inspection, causing the left rear skid to collapse and the tail rotor to strike the ground.

Full narrative available

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