NTSB Identification: CEN10CA280
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 31, 2010 in Cannon Falls, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2010
Aircraft: HUGHES 269A, registration: N8897F
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 pilot reported that shortly after liftoff he noticed a “disturbing vibration” in the helicopter. He elected to initiate an autorotation to an open agricultural field. The pilot stated that he executed a 180-degree turn in order to avoid a tree line. He noted that the rotor speed got too low and he was unable to reduce the sink rate, which resulted in a hard landing. The main rotor contacted and separated the tail boom and the right landing skid collapsed during the accident sequence. The pilot noted that additional practice in autorotation descents and landings might have prevented the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain rotor speed during the autorotation, which resulted in an excessive sink rate and a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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