NTSB Identification: CHI06TA148.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 06, 2006 in Schererville, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Schweizer 269C, registration: N54LC
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.
The helicopter sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain following a practice autorotation and subsequent loss of engine power. The helicopter was operating as a public-use instructional flight. The pilot stated, in part, "Immediately upon reducing the throttle and lowering the collective, the engine of the helicopter stopped. This was confirmed by the indication of the "split" needles and engine RPM indicating zero RPM. This was further confirmed by the manifold pressure gauge which was rising to atmospheric pressure. This practice autorotation had turned into a real total loss of engine power autorotation to touchdown. ... [After touchdown,] the main rotor blade flex downward and came in contact with the tail boom section causing the tail rotor to separate." Wind in the area was 220 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 19 knots. An examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact anomalies. The engine was operational during a subsequent test run.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper autorotation following an actual loss of engine power during a practice autorotation, which resulted in a hard landing. A factor associated with the accident was the loss of engine power at the beginning of the practice autorotation for an undetermined reason.
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