NTSB Identification: SEA99LA031.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 19, 1999 in TENSED, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12E, registration: N67264
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot-in-command (PIC) took off with a full load of fuel (82 gallons) approximately 1230 pst. The main fuel tank contained 46 gallons of fuel (2.9 gallons unusable) with the remaining fuel in external saddle tanks. Approximately 1445 (2.25 hours after takeoff), the engine flamed out while the PIC was executing a zero airspeed pedal turn course reversal over high trees. The helicopter descended into the trees impacting terrain. The PIC reported that 'within moments preceding the flameout, he noted that his fuel level had reached approximately 15 gallons in the main tank. At that time he turned on the auxiliary fuel tanks transfer switch.' and that 'the time between turning on the transfer switch to the flameout was approximately 45 to 60 seconds.' Cruise fuel flow to the engine was reported at 17-20 gallons/hour (takeoff power fuel flow was reported as 32 gallons/hour). Post crash examination revealed less than one gallon of fuel in the rotorcraft's main fuel tank, and none in the fuel line which connects the tank to the engine fuel nozzle, none within the engine driven fuel pump filter, nor within the power turbine governor fuel filter. The aircraft's fuel gauge was observed to have no markings on the glass faceplate. No fuel leaks were found within the main fuel tank. A post crash test run of the engine revealed normal performance. No low fuel warning system was installed on the rotorcraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot-in-command's inadequate fuel management which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Contributing factors were the absence of cautionary markings on the fuel gauge, and high trees at the accident site.

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