Mosquito Aviation XEL variant. CC BY-SA 3.0
The NTSB noted power loss and a post-crash fire in its preliminary report of an experimental helicopter crash in Albion, New York, last month.
The amateur-built Mosquito XE crashed April 24 in Albion, New York, leaving the private pilot seriously injured.
The pilot told the FAA that the helicopter experienced a partial loss of power shortly after takeoff from Gaines Valley Aviation Airport. He began looking for a place to land before the engine experienced a total loss of power. The helicopter did not have adequate main rotor rpm to autorotate and, as a result, it impacted hard upon landing.
A witness observed that the helicopter took off by hovering approximately six feet agl adjacent to hangars. He then saw the helicopter ascend to roughly twice the height as nearby powerlines.
The witness then observed a “small piece” separate and heard a popping sound that was immediately followed by a grinding sound. The helicopter then began a steep dissent during which a “second piece” separated from the aircraft, the report said.
Upon impacting the ground, the helicopter immediately burst into flames.
The helicopter, which was equipped with an Innovator Technologies Inntec 800 two-stroke, two cylinder, 85 horsepower engine, was retained for examination.