NYC93LA175
NYC93LA175

On Friday, August 27, 1993, at about 1620 eastern daylight time, an Enstrom F28A, helicopter, N269Q, piloted by Mr. Mark Lavoie, collided with the terrain during a practice autorotation at the Meriden Airport, Meriden, Connecticut. The helicopter was substantially damaged, and the pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91.

Maintenance had recently been performed on the helicopter, and the pilot took off for a test flight. The pilot elected to perform a practice autorotation. During this maneuver the engine lost complete power. The helicopter impacted the ground; became airborne; turned 90 degrees; and the main rotor blades struck the tail boom.

According to the pilot's statement on the NTSB Form 6120.1/2:

...entered autorotation at approximately 1,000 feet MSL...all indications and aircraft operation normal...rotor RPM O.K...engine RPM "0". Engine failure verified...ground contact on aft portion of skids...loud "whack" and violent torque twist...

FAA Inspector, Edwin Odell, examined the wreckage after the accident and said that fuel and oil were present. Mr. Odell said, "...no outward sign of mechanical malfunction was noted." All three fuel sumps were drained and according to Mr. Odell, "...a small amount of water was noted at the right fuel tank drain." No water was found at the left fuel tank or sump. The main rotor transmission clutch was disengaged, the engine was test run and no discrepancies were observed.

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