NTSB Identification: IAD05CA092.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 04, 2005 in Weston, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Callahan Rotorway Exec 90, registration: N4359N
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 began an autorotation maneuver at 800 feet above ground level (agl), and upon reaching 100 feet agl began to flare the helicopter. When the helicopter's forward speed had reduced to almost zero, the pilot leveled its pitch attitude, and applied full throttle and right anti-torque pedal. The helicopter turned to the right, and due to a perceived lack of torque, the pilot believed that the engine had experienced a loss of power. He applied left anti-torque pedal to straighten the helicopter, and decreased the collective pitch in order to increase rotor rpm. He then increased the collective pitch to cushion the landing, but the helicopter impacted the ground hard and the skids collapsed outward. A post crash fire ensued and consumed nearly the entire helicopter. When asked, the pilot could not recall any engine or rotor instrument indications during the autorotation, and could not recall if the engine was running when the helicopter impacted the ground. Examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies with the engine or the airframe.

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons during an attempted power recovery. A factor in the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain rotor rpm, which resulted in a hard landing and subsequent post crash fire.

Full narrative available

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