WPR09LA261
WPR09LA261

On May 25, 2009, about 1200 mountain daylight time, an Enstrom 280C helicopter, N5699N, impacted the terrain during an attempted precautionary landing just after taking off from Hinckley Airport, Ogden, Utah. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured, but the helicopter, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The local 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal pleasure flight was taking place in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot of the reciprocating engine helicopter, just after he passed through translational lift he noticed that the engine was being over-boosted and that the main rotor blade RPM was drooping. He therefore lowered the collective in an attempt to lower the boost and to regain main rotor rpm, but the helicopter began to sink at a rate that made it necessary for the pilot to immediately transition to a landing. After touching down on the ground, the skids partially collapsed, the helicopter pitched forward, and the main rotor blades flexed downward far enough to sever the tail boom.

According to the pilot, the engine seemed to be running strong and smooth, and there did not appear to be any problems with the flight control system.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector inspected the helicopter and monitored a post-accident test run of the engine, and he reported that there were no anomalies with either the airframe or the engine.

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