NTSB Identification: CHI04CA206.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 30, 2004 in Eureka, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Tjerrild Rotorway Exec, registration: N777TJ
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The experimental amateur-built helicopter sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain and crops during a forced landing, following an in-flight loss of engine power. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. The pilot stated, "Established level cruise at 1000 MSL and 70 mph. Engine stopped without warning. Executed an auto rotate into corn field below. As main rotors entered corn the aircraft yawed left and stopped partially tipped over on left side. No injuries." An inspection of the wreckage revealed that the high-tension wire from the ignition coil was detached. The helicopter was not modified with the kit manufacturer's service bulletin for its conversion to a dual ignition system.

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

The in-flight loss of engine power due to the disconnection of the high tension wire from its ignition coil during cruise flight and the unsuitable terrain the pilot encountered during his forced landing. A factor was the low altitude the helicopter was cruising at when the power loss occured.

Full narrative available

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