NTSB Identification: FTW04LA131.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 15, 2004 in Willis, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Cooke Rotorway Exec, registration: N319RC
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.

The 3,200-hour pilot reported that as he lifted the helicopter up to a hover from a boat dock, he started to move the helicopter over the water. Subsequently, the pilot heard a ratcheting sound followed by a partial loss of engine power. The right landing skid and the main rotor blades contacted the dock, and the helicopter came to rest upright in about 4-feet of water, adjacent to the dock. Examination of the engine revealed that the #1 cylinder exhaust valve keeper retaining clip has disengaged. The pilot stated that he had recently sent the #1 cylinder out for maintenance and reinstalled the cylinder approximately 10 hours prior to the flight.

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

The partial loss of engine power due to the failure of the #1 cylinder valve retainer clip. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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