NTSB Identification: DEN05FA103.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 30, 2005 in Mancos, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2007
Aircraft: Agusta A119, registration: N403CF
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
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.
The EMS helicopter had been dispatched to medivac a logger who had been injured in a trucking accident. The pilot made a low pass, then circled around to make his landing approach. A volunteer fireman, who was standing at the landing zone (LZ) and directing the helicopter, said the temperature was "about 80 degrees [F.]," and he advised the pilot that the winds were calm. The fireman said the helicopter was about 220 feet above tree level when "it dropped straight down." He heard no unusual engine sounds and did not see the impact. The on-scene examination revealed all four main rotor blades remained attached to the rotor hub and were drooped over the wreckage. Examination of the fuel control unit (FCU) revealed a 1/16-inch gap at the mating flange between the flow (fuel bypass passage, Po) and drive (air pressure passages, Px & Py) bodies. One of four retention-bolts was backed out and the packing was partially extruded. The bolt was too short, another bolt was too long, and the other two bolts were insufficiently torqued. Additionally, the flow and drive bodies were not perfectly flat. Further examination of the FCU revealed no functional anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: a loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and the pilot's inability to get into autorotation prior to impacting the ground. A factor contributing to the accident was the helicopter's low altitude when power was lost. Full narrative available
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