NTSB Identification: LAX03LA052.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 18, 2002 in Los Banos, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N642KC
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 pilot and aircraft maintenance technician were performing a post maintenance test flight when a vibration occurred, followed by a total loss of engine power. The commercial certificated helicopter pilot made a forced landing in a muddy field, during which the helicopter received structural damage. Post accident examination revealed a failed exhaust valve in the number 3 cylinder, and that two exhaust spring seats had been installed, one on top of the other, causing excessive spring/valve pressures. The engine had been overhauled about 1.5 service hours prior to the loss of engine power.

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

The improper engine overhaul by other maintenance personnel, which resulted in an exhaust valve failure and a total loss of engine power while in maneuvering flight.

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