NTSB Identification: LAX03LA011.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 19, 2002 in Tucson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Rotorway 162F, registration: N162AZ
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.

Following a drive shaft failure, the helicopter collided with high vegetation and rolled over during an autorotation. In a statement to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that while performing pattern and ground reference maneuvers, the helicopter experienced a mechanical malfunction. The pilot executed an autorotation and contacted high vegetation with the helicopter's right skid, resulting in the helicopter rolling to the left and impacting terrain. The pilot disposed of the helicopter in a waste dump prior to examination by FAA inspectors and the nature of the mechanical malfunction could not be determined. In a telephone interview with a Safety Board investigator, the pilot reported that the secondary shaft broke in half, resulting in a loss of drive power to the helicopter's main rotor. The pilot was aware of the advisory service bulletin issued by the kit manufacturer suggesting replacement of the secondary shaft assembly, but had not complied. Beginning in May 1995, the kit manufacturer released four separate Advisory Bulletins (A-23, A-26, A-32 and A-34) addressing installation, inspection, and shaft design change issues. Citing a history of secondary shaft failures, the most recent advisory bulletin at the time of the accident, issued May 2002, recommended replacement of the standard 30 mm secondary shaft with an upgraded 35 mm shaft.

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

the failure of the secondary drive shaft.

Full narrative available

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