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Friday, August 1, 2008

Defect May Have Caused HI Crash

The MD 369FF helo, operated by Smoky Mountain Helicopters, sustained major damage when it impacted trees and terrain in the town of Haena on the island of Kauai, Hawaii and killed one passenger on March 11, 2007. During cruise flight, the tail rotor output shaft and the tail rotor blades separated from the tail rotor gearbox and fell into the ocean. The pilot executed an autorotation to a nearby campground. The missing rotor blades were found by beach combers and were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, where inspections revealed that the tail rotor blade assembly was fractured through the root fitting and would not have been visible through external examination. The FAA issued an emergency AD in late April 2007, mandating inspection of the root fittings. For related news
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