NTSB Identification: DEN05FA080.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 14, 2005 in Pueblo, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N311CP
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According the flight instructor during the second traffic pattern, they "climbed to approximately 1000 feet AGL with the intention of practicing an autorotation entry and glide with a power recovery and go-around at about 200-300 [feet] AGL." The flight instructor stated that both pilots were at the controls on final. He stated that after lowering collective, the engine rpm "went straight to [zero]." The flight instructor stated that he took control of the helicopter while his student attempted an engine restart. He did not recall any further events until after the impact. According to one witness the helicopter impacted the runway hard, splitting both landing skids out laterally. The helicopter rolled over on its left side and a fire ensued. Density altitude was calculated to be 7,162 feet. According to the weight and balance calculations performed by the student and flight instructor prior to the accident, the helicopter's weight was calculated to be 1,859.6 pounds. According to the Pilot's Flight Manual (PFM), performance figure 5-3 (gross weight versus density altitude diagram), based on the density altitude of 7,162 feet, the helicopter should have been at a maximum weight of 1,600 pounds in order to maintain the autorotation characteristics of the helicopter presented in performance figure 5-2 (height/velocity diagram). An examination of the helicopter's engine and systems revealed no anomalies.

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

the flight instructor's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during the attempted autorotation after the loss of engine power for reasons undetermined. Contributing factors include the flight instructor's improper preflight planning, the high density altitude, and the attempted autorotation.

Full narrative available

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