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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR19LA111
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 16, 2019 in Hauula, HI
Aircraft: MD HELICOPTER 369, registration: N593C
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 16, 2019, about 1100 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, a McDonnell Douglas 369E helicopter, N593C, was substantially damaged following an autorotation to tree-covered terrain due to a loss of engine power about 1 mile west of Hauula, Hawaii. The commercial pilot and three passengers were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by K & S Helicopters under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135, on-demand flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Turtle Bay Resort Heliport (HI58), Kahuku, Hawaii.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after picking up his third passenger, he departed and climbed to an elevation of about 1,700 ft mean sea level. A few minutes later he observed that the N2 had decreased to about 70%. Shortly thereafter, as the N2 continued to decrease, the engine quit. The pilot then set up for an autorotation, during which the helicopter penetrated a canopy of trees prior to impact with the ground. The pilot stated that prior to departing from HI58 on the assigned flight, he had filled the fuel tank to capacity, which was 64 gallons. The helicopter was recovered the next day to a secured location for further examination.