NTSB Identification: CHI06TA033.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2005 in Manhattan, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N400PD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

During a public use solo instructional flight the helicopter sustained substantial damage when it nosed over in a rocky, uneven field during a precautionary landing following an observed split in rotor/engine tachometer readings and an audible low rotor rpm alarm in cruise flight. The pilot perceived a mechanical emergency and performed a precautionary landing. The control box, tachometer cable, and tachometer were examined. The control box warning circuitry was not operational when first checked and operated after repair of an open circuit found on the circuit board. No anomalies were detected with the tachometer. Visual examination of the cable revealed indications of excessive wear and possible binding with windup of the outer strands. Binding of the cable is consistent with a bouncing tachometer needle.

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

The binding of the main rotor blade's tachometer cable during cruise flight resulting in an observed split tachometer indication/aural alarm and perceived mechanical emergency and the unsuitable terrain the pilot encountered during the emergency landing. A factor was the rocky terrain.

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