NTSB Identification: ATL05CA028.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 21, 2004 in Smyrna, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Enstrom F-28A, registration: N9235
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 pilot stated he reduced the collective from 23 inches of manifold pressure to 21 inches of manifold pressure to initiate a descent for landing, and it "felt like the engine was shuddering." He stated he increased the manifold pressure to 23 inches, and the engine "seemed to smooth out." He stated he entered a left base, then turned final and reduced the manifold pressure. On final approach, the pilot slowed the helicopter to approximately 10 miles per hour, and when he added more collective, he saw the "rpm drop to the bottom of the green." He stated he "dropped collective and added throttle." He stated the helicopter would not maintain altitude, and he attempted a run-on landing in the grass; the left skid contacted the ground and collapsed, and the helicopter rolled over onto its left side. Examination revealed the forward and aft left skid struts were bent inboard approximately 135 degrees. Two main rotor blades were bent downward and were delaminated near the root and on the trailing edge of the blades. The third main rotor blade was bent upward near the tip, and trailing edge and upper skin deformation was observed. Continuity for the tail rotor, cyclic, collective, over-running clutch, throttle, and mixture controls was established. Examination of the drive belt revealed a shaved area in the vicinity of the clutch assembly, and the over-running clutch operated. The fan shroud displayed circumferential scoring. An engine start was attempted by utilizing the cockpit engine controls. The engine started, then idled smoothly. Higher rpm settings were not attempted.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's improper flare during forced landing, which resulted in an inflight collision into an open field.

Full narrative available

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