On September 5, 2002, approximately 0830 mountain daylight time, a Gray RotorWay Exec 90 single-engine helicopter, N716JB, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing following a loss of engine power at the Las Cruces International Airport (LRU), Las Cruces, New Mexico. The student pilot, sole occupant and registered owner of the helicopter, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to an FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, the student pilot checked the fuel tanks prior to the flight and determined that the tanks contained enough fuel for the short trip. Shortly after takeoff, the engine lost total power. The student pilot initiated an autorotation, and subsequently, the helicopter landed hard. The main rotor blades were bent, the tail rotor was destroyed, and the tail boom was separated. In addition, the inspector stated that the student pilot did not have an endorsement for solo flight in the helicopter.

Numerous attempts to obtain a completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) from the pilot were unsuccessful.

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