Accident RotorWay Exec 162F N162RB, Saturday 31 January 2015
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Date:Saturday 31 January 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic EXEC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
RotorWay Exec 162F
Owner/operator:Butler William Raymond
Registration: N162RB
MSN: 6873
Year of manufacture:2008
Engine model:ROTORWAY RI 162F
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Calhoun County, near Seadrift, TX -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Port Lavaca, TX
Destination airport:Port Lavaca, TX
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that the experimental, amateur-built helicopter was at 300 ft above ground level (agl) when the low rotor rpm horn sounded and the engine lost power. The pilot entered an autorotation and arrested the descent rate. When the helicopter was about 8 ft agl over tall grass, the main rotor speed further decelerated. The helicopter landed hard while it was still moving forward at high speed, which resulted in the landing gear separating.
The engine had been modified with a full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system. Following the accident, the pilot tested the FADEC system and determined that the loss of engine power was caused by a fault in the No. 1 engine control module (ECM); every time the No. 1 ECM was turned on, the engine would quit; however, if the No. 1 ECM was turned off and the No. 2 ECM was turned on, the engine would operate. Although the helicopter was equipped with two ECMs, which should have provided redundant operation, it was determined that a single-point failure of the No. 1 ECM resulted in the engine failure.
Probable Cause: A fault in the No. 1 engine control module, which disabled the ignition system and resulted in the engine losing power; during the subsequent autorotation, the main rotor rpm was further reduced just before touchdown, which resulted in a hard landing.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN15LA132
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


FAA register:


Revision history:

02-Feb-2015 15:09 gerard57 Added
02-Feb-2015 17:12 Chieftain Updated [Location, Narrative]
02-Feb-2015 17:12 Chieftain Updated [Location, Narrative]
02-Feb-2015 17:16 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
02-Feb-2015 17:33 Geno Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
14-Feb-2015 06:46 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 11:47 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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