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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 9850
Last updated: 11 October 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 369HS
Registration: N9139F
MSN: 230449S
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ketchikan Bay, near Petersburg, AK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Coffman Cove, AK (KCC)
Destination airport:Ketchikan, AK (KTN/PAKT)
Substantially damaged 23 March 1975 when crashed into Ketchikan Bay, near Petersburg, Alaska, due to engine failure for undetermined reasons. Aircraft made a forced (auto rotation) landing after being unable to maintain adequate rotor rpm. It was reported that the Pilot had not made an auto-rotation landing in a helicopter for last 2 years. Three of the four persons on board were killed. According to the eyewitness testimony from the sole survivor:

"One Hughes 369.HS, Helicopter No-N9139F in southeast Alaska was now on the bottom of Ketchikan Bay with three bodies still strapped inside. It seemed that the pilot was so involved with trying to inflate the float skids after engine failure; he lost control and hit the water very, very hard. In cold weather there is a locking pre-heater switch inside the aircraft that must be on at all times to prevent the intake of very cold air and ice developments internally, resulting quickly into engine failure.

After the aircraft, bodies and debris were brought to the surface, inspectors found this locking switch was off, never giving the aircraft the opportunity to breathe warm safe air. I could not help but wonder, with the aircraft falling out of the sky, if the owner had any last regrets about the limited few hours of training he had, or his refusal to honor his confirmed employment of one very well trained, instructed pilot"


1. NTSB Identification: ANC75AA069
2. FAA:

Revision history:

25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
24-Feb-2016 19:05 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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