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NTSB Preliminary Report Released: Passaic, MO

Location:

Passaic, MO

Accident Number:

CEN19LA016

Date & Time:

10/27/20181800 CDT

Registration:

N162RF

Aircraft:

Rotorway 162

Injuries:

1 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 27, 2018, about 1800 central daylight time, a skid-equipped Rotorway Exec 162F helicopter, N162RF, impacted terrain while landing during an autorotation near Passaic, Missouri. The left seat student pilot and sole occupant sustained no injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Butler Memorial Airport (BUM), Butler, Missouri, about 1750.

In a written statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on November 1, the pilot reported that fuel was added to the helicopter to full capacity, the preflight checks were completed, and the pilot departed from BUM to the east. The helicopter climbed to about 500 ft above ground level at about 80 mph. While flying easterly for about 10 minutes, the pilot observed the main rotor rpm indicating unit in the cockpit drop to zero. The pilot confirmed that the engine rpm indications were "still normal." The pilot decided to execute an autorotation to an open grass field and lowered the collective. He was in a "steady glide" when he realized that he was going to potentially impact a fence at his intended landing area in the field.

The pilot applied aft cyclic to avoid the fence, which he reported changed his "glide path." The pilot flared and then applied collective for the landing. During the landing, the rear portion of the right skid impacted terrain. The pilot reported that this caused the helicopter to bounce, the pilot lost control, and the helicopter came to rest on its right side. The pilot executed an emergency shutdown and egressed from the helicopter without further incident. After egressing from the helicopter, the pilot was in an area with adequate cellular phone reception and he contacted a friend for assistance. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system, the fuselage, the tailboom, and the tail rotor system.

The helicopter was recovered from the field and transported to a secure facility for a future examination of the airframe and engine. On October 30, two aviation safety inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration Kansas City Flight Standards District Office traveled to Belton, Missouri to examine the wreckage. During the examination of the engine, no mechanical anomalies were noted. During the examination of the airframe, a short with the main rotor rpm indicating unit was discovered. The short was located inside of the case between pins 5 and 9, which corresponds to a black wire (pin 5) and a dark blue wire (pin 9). The short was observed to travel through the circuit. The connector was removed from the indicator's circuit board and the short remained. The black wire and dark blue wires were removed from the connecter and the short was gone. No other anomalies were noted with the airframe.

The 2-seat capacity, experimental amateur-built helicopter, serial number 6965, was built in 2015 via a kit provided by the manufacturer. The helicopter was powered by a 150-horsepower Rotorway RI 162F reciprocating engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

Rotorway

Registration:

N162RF

Model/Series:

162 F

Aircraft Category:

Helicopter

Amateur Built:

Yes

 

 

Operator:

On file

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

KLRY, 915 ft msl

Observation Time:

2253 UTC

Distance from Accident Site:

17 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

19°C / 5°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Clear

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

5 knots / 230°

Lowest Ceiling:

None

Visibility

10 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

29.88 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

None

Departure Point:

Butler, MO (BUM)

Destination:

Butler, MO (BUM)

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 None

Latitude, Longitude:

38.321944, -94.346944 (est)

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Michael J Hodges

Additional Participating Persons:

David Plum; FAA Kansas City FSDO; Kansas City, MO

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.

 






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