NTSB Identification: CEN09CA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 20, 2009 in Dacono, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2009
Aircraft: ENSTROM 280FX, registration: N409LH
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the instructor, the student pilot was making a practice autorotation to be followed by a powered recovery in preparation for his taking the private pilot practical test. When power was added, only 2500 rpm (instead of 3050 rpm) were attained. The helicopter slid approximately 2 feet on a rain-soaked field. The skid toes dug into the soft ground, stopping forward movement and causing the fuselage to shift forward. The main rotor blades contacted and severed the tail rotor driveshaft. In addition the tail rotor gearbox, tailboom, and a main rotor blade were damaged. Postaccident examination of the engine and powertrain revealed no anomalies that would have prevented the engine from producing full power.

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

A partial loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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