NTSB Identification: DFW08CA147.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, May 17, 2008 in Lafayette, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Dowell Vaughn Exec 90, registration: N6032C
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 private pilot stated during a telephonic interview that he was hovering in an open field adjacent to the airport, when he began to lose rotor RPM. He landed briefly to investigate why the helicopter was not flying properly. He then decided to hover taxi back to his hangar and was trying to keep the nose of the helicopter pointed into the wind. While hovering with a slight right crab over a freshly plowed field the helicopter settled, the right skid contacted the soft terrain, and rolled onto the right side. The pilot stated that the loss of rotor RPM was the result of the loose engine oil cap that sprayed engine oil on the main rotor system drive belts. The helicopter main rotor blades, tail rotor blades, fuselage, and tail boom were substantially damaged. There was no post-crash fire and the pilot reported no injuries. Weather was reported at the time as winds from 020 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 30 miles with few clouds at 7,000 feet and a temperature of 72 degrees.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision to continue flight after experiencing a loss of rotor RPM. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's low level of experience in helicopters and the leaking oil from the engine oil filler cap.

Full narrative available

Index for May2008 | Index of months