NTSB Identification: CHI99LA130.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 09, 1999 in CLOQUET, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/13/2000
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N119SP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot, he was 10 miles from Cloquet Carlton County Airport when he noticed a low fuel pressure warning. The pilot stated that he knew of a field that he could land in, five miles from his current position, and decided to maneuver the helicopter to that location. The pilot reported that while over the predetermined field, at approximately 300 feet above ground level, the engine lost total power and he began an autorotation towards the field. The pilot stated that he performed a run-on landing, in order to avoid two posts, and came to rest in an upright attitude. The pilot reported that he did not see the reflecting posts until the aircraft was near the ground because of the low light condition. The pilot reported that he had 35-gallons of fuel when he departed Crystal Airport at 1905. The pilot stated that the flight time, from Crystal Airport to Cloquet Carlton County Airport, was typically 1.2 hours to 1.5 hours. According to the Chief Pilot of the Minneapolis State Police, the fuel burn for the accident helicopter was 25 gallons/hour. In a telephone conversation with the investigator-in-charge, the pilot indicated that he ran out of fuel during the accident flight.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel management which led to fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power. Related factors were the pole and dusk light conditions.

Full narrative available

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