NTSB Identification: ERA09LA421
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 24, 2009 in Dunedin, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N645JC
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

During a local sightseeing flight, while over water with adequate fuel on-board, the pilot reported that the helicopter felt sluggish. He applied forward cyclic to accelerate and maneuvered the helicopter toward the shore. He then heard the main rotor rpm warning and also reported seeing the fuel quantity light. He entered an autorotation to the water and all occupants exited the helicopter and swam to shore. The helicopter remained submerged for more than 3 days and inspection of the helicopter and engine following recovery revealed no evidence of preimpact failure of the engine or engine accessories, including the magnetos or fuel servo. No determination was made as to the reason for the reported loss of engine 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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