LAX94LA196
LAX94LA196

On February 25, 1994 at 0620 local ship time, a Schweizer 300C helicopter, N61414, was destroyed during a forced water landing in international waters near Chuuk Island in the Pacific Ocean. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from a fishing vessel. The aircraft was owned by Trans Global Products, Inc., and operated by Fong Seong Fisheries for fish spotting operations from the ship "FONG SEONG 767." Visual meteorological conditions were prevalent at the time and no flight plan had been filed for the operation. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. The flight originated from the deck of a fishing vessel at 0615 on the day of the mishap.

The pilot reported that on the morning of the mishap, he had been instructed to prepare the helicopter for a test flight. At 0605, the pilot performed a preflight run-up at which time all indications were normal. At 0615, the pilot took off. After take off, ship crewmen observed black smoke coming from the rear of the helicopter and notified the pilot. The pilot reacted by turning the helicopter back toward the ship for a precautionary landing. While about 20 feet from the ship, the engine rpm dropped to 2,600 and the helicopter began losing altitude. As the helicopter descended to the level of the flight deck, the pilot recognized that he would be unable to land on the ship and turned away. He stated that he was about 50-to-70 meters from the ship at an altitude of 70 feet msl when the engine lost all remaining power. At that time, he reported hearing "some abnormal sounds from the back of the aircraft." The float equipped helicopter descended into the ocean and capsized.

The nature of the engine problem was not disclosed by the operator.

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