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N82DR accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location 44.827223°N, 93.457222°W
Nearest city Eden Prairie, MN
44.854686°N, 93.470786°W
2.0 miles away
Tail number N82DR
Accident date 09 Oct 2004
Aircraft type Buss Rotorway Exec
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 9, 2004, about 0822 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Buss Rotorway Exec helicopter, N82DR, operated by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain during an autorotation following an in-flight loss of engine power while on its base leg to runway 28L at Flying Cloud Airport (FCM), near Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported no injuries. The local flight originated from FCM.

The pilot stated in his accident report:

I launched at 08:15 from General Aviation Services at

Flying Cloud Airport, Eden Prairie, MN. I was given

clearance to runway 28L. Upon take off clearance I

commenced flying left pattern. I was given clearance

for the option and on the base leg I reached for, and

pulled, the carburetor heat lever. After releasing

the lever, I inadvertently bumped and threw the main

battery switch. I felt the switch move. (These

switches are located on the top of the center console,

and they are hidden from view by the pilot's right leg

due to cramped quarters). I then tried to find and

reengage the switch and I threw the avionics switch. I

immediately re-engaged the avionics switch. While

searching for the battery switch, the engine stopped.

(The switch had shut off the fuel pumps, enabling the

engine to continue running for a few seconds) I

immediately lowered the collective and went into

auto-rotation. I picked my spot to land and auto-rotated

to that spot, and then initiated my cyclic flare. Just

before touchdown I leveled the machine and pulled in all

of the collective. I landed level, fairly softly, but

with forward ground speed, in a soybean field diagonal to

the rows. Calm winds were not a factor. Due to forward

groundspeed, the helicopter slid forward and tipped

forward. The rotor blades struck the ground in the front

of the ship, which created torque forces, which tipped the

machine onto its left side. The tower contacted me and

confirmed that I was uninjured. I unbuckled my harness,

shut off the fuel and all switches. I climbed out the

passenger door.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions in reference to the helicopter on the flight.

The pilot's safety recommendation was that the "battery switch should be relocated or [guarded]."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadvertent deactivation of the battery switch leading to the helicopter's loss of engine power on base leg. A factor was the crops he encountered during the emergency landing.

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