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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 178689
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Time:09:35 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD60 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems MD600N
Owner/operator:McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems
Registration: N9204D
MSN: RN0004
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Falcon Field, Mesa, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Falcon Field, Mesa, AZ
Destination airport:Falcon Field, Mesa, AZ
On February 3, 1998, at 0935 hours mountain standard time, an MD600N, N9204D, experienced a hard landing while performing an autorotative landing at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. The aircraft sustained substantial damage; however, the pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The aircraft was being operated as a test flight by Boeing Mesa when the accident occurred. The flight originated in Mesa at 0736 on the morning of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed.

At the time of the accident, the pilot was in the process of verifying a theoretical height/velocity performance data point. He had entered an autorotation at 14 feet agl and 30 knots airspeed while at takeoff power, and a gross weight of 4,100 pounds. The planned entry point was 10 feet agl and 20 knots airspeed. The onboard telemetry verified that the pilot had reduced the throttle to flight idle at the entry point. After the throttle reduction, however, the remaining momentum allowed the aircraft to accelerate to 30 knots and climb an additional 23 feet agl. During the subsequent descent, the main rotor rpm decayed and an excessive vertical sink rate developed. The aircraft landed hard at the intended touchdown point, while in a near level attitude. The aircraft was hover-taxied from the landing area and a normal shutdown was completed.

The aircraft was hover-taxied from the landing area and a normal shutdown was completed. The test pilot reported that the height/velocity data point was outside the aircraft's performance capabilities.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
the attempt by flight test engineers to verify a height/velocity data point that was subsequently shown to be outside the aircraft's performance capabilities.



Revision history:

15-Aug-2015 14:50 Aerossurance Added

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