NTSB Identification: CHI05CA005.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 09, 2004 in Eden Prairie, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2004
Aircraft: Buss Rotorway Exec, registration: N82DR
Injuries: 1 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 during an autorotation following an in-flight loss of engine power while on its base leg. The pilot stated in his accident report, "I was given clearance for the option and on the base leg I reached for, and pulled, the carburetor heat lever. After releasing the lever, I inadvertently bumped and threw the main battery switch. I felt the switch move. (These switches are located on the top of the center console, and they are hidden from view by the pilot's right leg due to cramped quarters). I then tried to find and reengage the switch and I threw the avionics switch. I immediately re-engaged the avionics switch. While searching for the battery switch, the engine stopped. ... Due to forward groundspeed, the helicopter slid forward and tipped forward. The rotor blades struck the ground in the front of the ship, which created torque forces, which tipped the machine onto its left side. " The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions in reference to the helicopter on the flight. The pilot's safety recommendation was that the "battery switch should be relocated or [guarded]."

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

The pilot's inadvertent deactivation of the battery switch leading to the helicopter's loss of engine power on base leg. A factor was the crops he encountered during the emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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